Russia, Qatar may exchange views on oil prices, output freeze deal unlikely
Moscow - MENA
Russia and Qatar may exchange views on global oil prices, but the agreements on output freeze are not likely to be reached, as the two countries cannot solve a collective issue, Sputnik quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying Friday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov are scheduled to meet with Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani in the Russian resort city of Sochi later in the day.
"Any agreements on this matter [oil output] are unlikely, as Russia and Qatar alone cannot reach such agreements. We know that this is a very complex collective process. And after the recent failure in the process we surely have to start a lot all over again," Peskov said.
In April, major oil-producing countries, including both members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and states outside the organization failed to reach an agreement in the Qatari capital of Doha to freeze output at January levels. Riyadh, which had previously said that it would freeze output only if Iran followed suit, cited Tehran’s absence from the talks as reason for not supporting an output freeze.
"Russian officials, in particular the minister of energy, have repeatedly stressed that in this process now the ball is not in our court, but in the court of our partners, well-known partners. Although, of course, we cannot exclude that some exchange of views on the energy pricing environment will be held," the spokesman added.
According to Peskov, Lavrov is due to provide comments on the meeting shortly after the end of the talks between Putin and both Russian and Qatari ministers.
The oil production freeze was first proposed at a Doha meeting of OPEC’s Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Venezuela with Russia in February, in an attempt to reduce the supply glut that has pushed oil prices downward.
Oil prices have plunged more than 60 percent from their peak of over $110 a barrel in June 2014 due to the global oil production outpacing the world’s demand.