Russia's Vladimir Putin to visit UAE, Saudi Arabia: What's his plan | World News - Hindustan Times
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Russia's Vladimir Putin to visit UAE, Saudi Arabia: What's his plan

Reuters |
Dec 05, 2023 02:31 PM IST

The visit comes after OPEC , which includes all three countries, agreed last Thursday to voluntary supply cuts totalling about 2.2 million barrels a day.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will pay a working visit to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, a Kremlin spokesman said, and hold talks in Russia the next day with the president of Iran.

Russian president Vladimir Putin (AP)
Russian president Vladimir Putin (AP)

Spokesman Dmitry Peskov, asked if Putin would discuss possible coordinated actions on global oil markets during his Gulf trip, said such talks were held within the OPEC group but the issue was always on the agenda.

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The visit comes after OPEC agreed last Thursday to voluntary supply cuts totalling about 2.2 million barrels a day, a move met with scepticism by the oil market.

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The plans for Putin to travel to Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter, and the United Arab Emirates were first revealed on Monday by online news outlet SHOT.

SHOT quoted Kremlin foreign policy aide Yury Ushakov as saying Putin would go first to UAE and then to Saudi Arabia, where negotiations would take place mainly with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Putin and the prince, known as MbS, have developed close ties. They were instrumental in clinching the deal to form a group of leading oil producers, now known as OPEC , in late 2016, in order to prop up the energy markets, key for both countries' budget proceeds.

In the UAE, Dubai has become an important trading hub for Russian oil companies, including for its number two producer Lukoil, which moved part of its operation to the city as European sanctions on Moscow pushed traders to neutral territory.

Putin has rarely travelled abroad in recent years, and mostly to states of the former Soviet Union. His last trip beyond those countries was to China in October.

OPEC , on Thursday agreed to voluntary supply cuts totalling about 2.2 million barrels per day (bpd) for the first quarter of 2024, led by Saudi Arabia rolling over its current voluntary cut. The figure of 2.2 million bpd included an extension of existing Saudi and Russian voluntary cuts of 1.3 million bpd.

The oil market's reaction to the new arrangements was lukewarm due to scepticism about whether the voluntary cuts would be fully implemented.

Oil prices fell 2% last week after the announcement, and declined further on Monday, but Brent crude futures were up nearly 1% on Tuesday.

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