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Historic Event: Moscow, Riyadh Cooperate to Monitor Oil Market | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Khalid A. Al-Falih (L) and Ali al-Naimi attend a news conference at the opening ceremony of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Jeddah September 23, 2009. REUTERS/Susan Baaghil/File Photo

Khobar- Oil prices rose on Monday right after Saudi Arabia and Russia signed an initial agreement to discuss possible ways to support oil market stability.

The agreement was highly welcomed by oil-producing countries. However, the biggest oil-producing countries in the world seem to have different points of view regarding Iran’s stake in the market and whether freezing oil output is the perfect method to regain market stability.

The joint statement was signed by the country’s energy ministers in China on the sidelines of a Group of 20 Summit and followed a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Any deal between OPEC and non-OPEC producer Russia would be the first in 15 years since Moscow agreed to cut output in tandem with the cartel at the turn of the millennium, although Russia never followed through on that promise.

The countries will start discussing topics related to restoring market stability in the upcoming days that precede the ministerial meeting of International Energy Forum, to be held in Algeria.

According to a Saudi-Russian joint statement and the Saudi and Russian energy ministries, the two countries will meet in Algeria in September then in Vienna in November.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Faleh said that freezing oil output is not a must currently. “There is no current need for freezing oil output; we still have time to take this decision. Output freezing is one of the preferred possibilities but is not a necessity in the meantime”, said the Energy Minister. He added, “The market is improving day after day and prices reflect this enhancement”.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak stated that Riyadh and Moscow are discussing specific standards related to the oil output freezing agreement. “We have agreed with Saudi Arabia Energy Minister on joint actions aimed at stabilizing situation on the oil market. We consider a production freeze the most efficient tool, concrete parameters are being discussed at the moment,” Novak said.