Russian Deputy PM to travel to Saudi Arabia for oil talks

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak will today travel to Saudi Arabia to engage in oil talks with Saudi Energy

Screen Shot 2020 12 18 at 2 04 57 PM

Photo: Office of the President of Russia

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak will today travel to Saudi Arabia to engage in oil talks with Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman.

The talks are expected to address Russian-Saudi energy cooperation and the state of the international oil market. Tensions between Moscow and Riyadh over oil production and pricing reached a boiling point in March after Russia refused to reduce production when demand dropped due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This triggered a price war between the two nations. The pandemic is expected to continue depressing oil demand—the International Energy Agency has reduced its demand forecast for 2021.

This trip seeks to establish a closer relationship between Russia and Saudi Arabia, a goal demonstrated in November when the countries mutually called for talks before an OPEC production-cut deadline. Discussion over oil exports to China is also likely. China is the world’s largest oil importer, and in recent years Russia and Saudi Arabia have competed in the race to become China’s top oil supplier. Russia now holds a narrow lead, a development that will likely shape discussions on future cooperation.

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