Russia’s Lavrov hails OPEC+ agreements on S.Arabia visit
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday reaffirmed Moscow’s commitment to OPEC+ agreements during a visit to Saudi Arabia after the EU hit Russia with a partial oil ban over Ukraine.
OPEC+ is a group of 13 members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), led by Riyadh, and their 10 partners led by Moscow.
European Union leaders agreed on Monday to ban more than two-thirds of Russian oil imports as part of a sixth package of crippling sanctions on Moscow.
The Wall Street Journal reported that OPEC was considering whether to remove Russia from an agreement that has locked producers into limited output increases.
Speaking to reporters in Riyadh, Lavrov said the subject of Western sanctions came up within the context of OPEC+ cooperation.
“During discussions with my colleagues from Arab monarchies, we raised this subject, but only in the context of confirming the agreements on cooperation within OPEC+ that have already been agreed on and confirmed several times by our leaders,” Lavrov told reporters.
“The principles of cooperation on this basis retain their significance and relevance,” he said.
Moscow’s OPEC+ removal would mean an early end to the pact and allow major crude nations such as Saudi Arabia to open the taps, analysts say.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, is currently benefiting from high oil prices that soared after Moscow sent troops into Ukraine on February 24 and the West slapped Moscow with unprecedented sanctions.