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Russian President Vladimir Putin had a sharp response to U.S. President Trump over his complaints of high gas prices, and accusations against Russia and OPEC of colluding to keep prices high.
“The fact that the oil price is rising is not so much the result of our activities (compliance with international agreements on production cap) as the result of largely external circumstances: expected decisions regarding Iran, by the way absolutely unlawful decisions that are harmful for the global economy; this being a production decline in North Africa related to a number of political circumstances (civil war and the like); this being a production decline in Venezuela also due to domestic political factors and due to restrictions imposed there,” he explained at the plenary session of the Russian Energy Week on Wednesday, reported Russian state news agency TASS.
“Let’s put it bluntly, the (current level of – TASS) oil prices is in no small part the result of activities of today’s US administration,” the president said. “Those expectations from sanctions imposed against Iran, political problems in Venezuela… what is happening in Libya. This is the result of an irresponsible policy that is having a direct impact on the global economy,” he added.
According to Putin, it is necessary for various countries “to work closer with each other not only in the energy sector, but in the political field as well.”.
“However, if we had raised the issue that we are discussing now, I would tell him that, if you want to find the one who is responsible for the growing [oil] prices, Donald, you need to look in the mirror.”
“It is better not to interfere in these market processes so as to get certain kinds of competitive advantages with the help of political tools, and not to try to regulate the [oil] prices, the way it was in the Soviet Union. That does not bring about anything good.”
“We will be quite satisfied with $70, 65, 75 per barrel,” he said, adding that the level will be sufficient for effective operations of energy companies and the investment process,” added the Russian leader.
Trump has pressured Saudi Arabia to raise output, and may be gaining progress, however, Iran, Russia, and Venezuela are quite content to sit with oil prices climbing on international markets.