Russian President Vladimir Putin says he watches no obstacles to OPEC reaching an agreement later this month, and Russia is willing to freeze its crude oil output at current levels as he thinks that oil exporters have overcome major differences in their positions.
Whether an agreement will be reached, I can not tell for one hundred percentage, but there is a strong likelihood that it will be achieved, Putin told reporters on Sunday after he attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Lima. Main contradictions within OPEC if not yet removed, they can be eliminated.
After initial negotiations aimed at freezing production failed to meet April a preliminary bargain was reached in Algiers on Sept. 28., which ended a two-year policy of pumping without limits. Although the OPEC pledge to cut output is still due to be finalized, Russia has already added more than 400 billion rubles ($ 6 billion) to the nations budget, thanks to its talks with OPEC, according to two officials familiar with the governments calculations.
There is no difficulty for us to freeze production at current levels, Putin repeated Russias position on Sunday.
The worlds biggest energy exporter is struggling to pull out of its deepest recession in two decades after a slump in oil prices and international sanctions over its annexation of Crimea in 2014. In addition to the OPEC talks, closer ties with the U.S. may also assist Russia ease pressure on its economy.
During the campaign , now Presiden-Elect Donald Trump called for an alliance with Russia to fight Islamic State and suggested sanctions imposed against Russia over the Ukrainian crisis could be eased. Putin say he is glad to wait to see whether this pledge arrives true.
In a recent phone conversation, Trump corroborated his intention to normalize relations between the U.S. and Russia. “For my part, I did the same, Putin said. They agreed that their staffers will have a session before two leaders will gratify in person.
Trump is actively forming his team, but he has no official staffers yet, Putin said. We will wait. There is still time.
In fact Putin doesnt know yet how his relation with Trump will go. Earlier this month he warned that it wont be an easy track to restoring relations. Meanwhile he has his own domestic challenges and the main one is presidential elections in March 2018.
Recent wave of highly publicized criminal cases against governors, deputy ministerial and other officials for alleged corruption, fraud and extortion has been described by analysts as one of key elements of Putins agenda for re-election, as Russia is still the most pervert of major world economies, according to Berlin-based Transparency International.
The latest case has rattled the countrys upper-class. The Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev was arrested on bribery charges linked to purchase of the oil company Bashneft by state-controlled oil giant Rosneft. Putin was quick to remove him from the position in the government.
Although Putin says he cant comment on Ulyukayev case before enforcement agencies, judicial system, he said that such actions of law enforcers merely strengthen business climate in Russia and all should know that the law will be applied to everyone equally.
Putin also strongly defended his economic policy and remainder of the team.
The regrettable detention of Ulyukayev, has not affected my attitude to government in general, Putin said, adding that he plans to move forward with the privatization of state assets.
This sad event cant influence in any way the acquisition of Bashneft stake by Rosneft, he said. Russia will not abandon plans to sell Rosneft stake as well.
This will be a direct privatization of state assets, Putin said. The government and management will work on selling the state stake in Rosneft, he said.
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