President Vladimir Putin said on Friday Russia was ready for deep oil production cuts with the United States and OPEC, but firmly put the blame for the collapse in oil prices on OPEC’s de facto leader Saudi Arabia.
Putin, speaking in a televised video conference with Russian government officials and domestic oil producers, proposed to cut combined oil production by around 10 million barrels per day, or around 10% of global output.
Oil prices hit an 18-year low following the failure of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other large oil producers led by Russia, a grouping known as OPEC+, to extend their deal on output curbs last month.
The next meeting is scheduled for April 6.
“Unfortunately, our partners from Saudi Arabia didn’t agree to extend the deal on current conditions, effectively withdrew from the deal and announced significant additional discounts for their oil,” Putin said.
“This, of course, at the time of a sharp fall in demand, had an additional impact on the decline of oil prices and still continues to influence the situation in the market.”
Putin also said Russia was ready for cooperation with the United States, the world’s largest oil producer, which is not part of the OPEC+ group.
The Russian president said Moscow was comfortable with an oil price of $42 per barrel, adding that any output cuts should be made from first-quarter levels.