Russia’s Putin Urges Oil Producers to Cooperate to Curtail Falling Prices

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that oil producers should work together to mitigate the market downturn as crude prices trade near levels unseen in 17 years.
Mr. Putin said that Russia is discussing the oil market with the U.S. and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. Moscow last month decided to abandon its pact with Saudi Arabia-led OPEC, sending crude prices into a tailspin. The fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, which has led to an unprecedented destruction of oil demand around the globe, helped to push prices further down.
“We, together with the main producers and consumers, will have to develop such solutions that will mitigate the situation on the market as a whole,” Mr. Putin said at a government meeting Wednesday.
President Trump and Mr. Putin discussed the oil market in a Monday phone call, followed by a call between Russian energy minister Alexander Novak and U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette on Tuesday.
Mr. Putin said Wednesday that the oil price tumble is a “very serious challenge” for the Russian economy, as well as a test for the U.S. shale industry. He added that low oil prices are a long-term worry for the industry since they could lead to a lack of investments, setting the stage for price surges in the future.