Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, pauses during the Japan-Russia Business Dialogue in Tokyo, Japan. (Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg)

Putin Says $60 Oil ‘Absolutely Fine,’ Praises Saudi Crown Prince

(Bloomberg) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin said current oil prices around $60 a barrel are “absolutely fine” for his country, adding that Moscow is ready if needed to work with OPEC on stabilizing the market after a major drop. Two weeks ago, Putin said a level of $70 suited Russia.

He pointed to the success of the OPEC+ agreement on output cuts, singling out Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for praise.

“This is effectively an achievement of Saudi Arabia and the crown prince, he was the initiator of this work,” Putin told an investment conference in Moscow on Wednesday. “It led to positive results.”

So far, Russia has been reluctant to commit to further supply cuts and will discuss the matter with its allies from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in Vienna next week. This weekend, Putin will hold talks with the crown prince in Buenos Aires on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit.

The meeting is a show of support for the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, who’s come under international and domestic pressure since the murder of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the country’s consulate in Istanbul last month. U.S. President Donald Trump won’t hold talks with the Saudi royal in Argentina.

Putin said the current oil price is “balanced and fair” and well above the level Russia needs to meet its budget forecasts. “If it’s required, we’re in touch with OPEC, we will continue this joint work,” he said.

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