Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of distorting the facts about the situation around the OPEC agreement on reducing oil production.
Al-Saud said that Putin's words that the initiator of the collapse of the deal was not Russia, but Saudi Arabia, "completely devoid of truth." The day before, at a government meeting, Putin noted that in early March Russia offered to extend the OPEC deal, "but, unfortunately, the situation began to develop in a different scenario."
Putin said that one of the reasons for the fall in the price of oil on world markets was Riyadh's decision to withdraw from OPEC. "This is probably due to attempts by our Saudi partners to get rid of competitors who produce so-called shale oil," he said.
The Saudi Foreign Ministry, for its part, stressed that this "distortion of facts is surprising" and reminded that it was Russia that refused to extend the deal despite attempts by Saudi Arabia and 22 other countries to persuade it to make additional cuts in oil production.
According to the indignant al-Saud, the Kingdom wants to achieve a balance in the oil market, and Russia, on the contrary, wants to keep prices low in order to affect shale oil producers. The minister expressed hope that Russia at the emergency OPEC summit will make the "right decision" to reach a fair agreement that will restore balance in the oil market.
At the aforementioned meeting, Putin said that Russia is ready to negotiate with oil producers to reduce production.
An emergency summit of OPEC countries was scheduled for April 6, but it was postponed to April 8 or 9 due to the need for additional balancing of production cuts in countries that may join the new agreement.