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U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin may discuss the state of the oil market at their summit on July 16, although there will be more important topics on the agenda, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday.
“It can be said with confidence that this matter will hardly be the leading one in the agenda. Topics much more actual in terms of bilateral relations exist, which will be considered in the first instance,” Russia’s news agency TASS quoted Peskov as telling reporters on Wednesday, commenting on the Trump-Putin summit slated to be held on July 16 in Helsinki, Finland.
Earlier this week, Peskov said on a conference call with reporters that Putin had said that he would be open to discuss everything except Crimea, which Moscow claims is an “integral part” of Russia.
“All the rest are matters [subject to] consensus, discussion, and a search for possible points of contact,” Peskov said.
The White House says that the two leaders “will discuss relations between the United States and Russia and a range of national security issues,” without giving more details.
Although there would probably be more pressing topics on the table up for discussion, the oil market situation may be one of the those issues that needs discussing, considering that Russia has been the key non-OPEC partner of OPEC leader Saudi Arabia in masterminding and implementing a production cut deal that depleted excess global oil inventories and propped up oil prices.
Related: The New Oil Cartel Threatening OPEC
The Saudis and Russians were also the allies that agreed two weeks ago to boost production and reverse some of the cuts to ‘stabilize’ the oil market and oil prices, after plunging Venezuelan production and pending U.S. sanctions on Iranian spooked the oil market and sent oil prices to three-and-a-half-year highs.
President Trump, for his part, has been calling for increased OPEC production to bring gasoline prices down.
Since April, President Trump has criticized OPEC for manipulating oil prices, calling the cartel out for oil prices that are ‘too high’.
On the day of the OPEC meeting on June 22, President Trump tweeted again: “Hope OPEC will increase output substantially. Need to keep prices down!”
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.