| 2 March 2024, Saturday |

Kremlin says OPEC+ output cuts will kick in later, confirms Putin to visit Gulf

Oil output cuts agreed by the OPEC+ group will take time to kick in, the Kremlin said on Tuesday, as it confirmed that President Vladimir Putin would visit the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.

Putin will also host Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Moscow the following day, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Russia cooperates with all three countries in the OPEC+ group of oil producers, which last week announced new voluntary production cuts that were greeted sceptically by the oil market because of doubts as to whether they would be fully implemented.

Oil prices fell 2% last week after the OPEC+ announcement, but Brent crude futures were firmer on Tuesday.

“The fact is that there are certain processes of inertia in the oil market; it is very big and heavy. Therefore, sometimes the effect is delayed. Therefore, coordination will continue,” Peskov said.

Asked if Putin would discuss oil market cooperation on his Gulf trip, the spokesman said: “These discussions are held within the OPEC+ format, but of course, cooperation in this area is always on the agenda.”

The visit comes after OPEC+ agreed last Thursday to voluntary supply cuts totalling about 2.2 million barrels a day, included an extension of existing Saudi and Russian voluntary cuts of 1.3 million bpd.

Apart from energy issues, Putin is keen to cultivate the Gulf states as part of his drive to build global alliances with non-Western countries and demonstrate what he says is the failure of the United States and its allies to isolate Russia with sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine.

Peskov said the agenda for Thursday’s visit to Moscow by Iran’s Raisi was still under preparation but was likely to include regional issues including the war in Gaza between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

Iran backs Israel’s enemy Hamas, while Russia has angered Israel by hosting a Hamas delegation in Moscow.

Russia has also made extensive use of Iranian drones in the conflict in Ukraine.

  • Reuters