Mon, 25 May 2020

U.S. President Donald Trump said Russia and Saudi Arabia are discussing holding talks about the sharp fall in oil prices and that he would consider joining them.

'The two countries are discussing it, and I am joining at the appropriate time, if need be,' Trump said on March 31 during a coronavirus pandemic briefing at the White House.

A dispute between Saudi Arabia and Russia over output cuts have led to a sharp decline in the global price of oil.

The United States last week pressed Riyadh to back off its decision to raise production and offer the biggest price cuts in two decades. The move followed Moscow's refusal to agree to production cuts.

Oil prices had been hit by declining demand even before the coronavirus pandemic sank consumer spending, taking a toll on industries sensitive to oil prices.

Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed during a phone call on March 30 that the current situation on world oil markets suited neither, a Kremlin spokesman said, according to Reuters.

They also agreed to have their top energy officials discuss slumping global oil markets. Brent crude oil, the international standard, closed down at $22.74 a barrel on March 31.

'Undoubtedly, there is an understanding that the current oil market situation is not in the interests of our countries,' said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

Peskov declined to comment when asked if the two leaders had discussed Saudi Arabia during their call.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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