Russia says door not closed for oil output freeze

Oil Minister Alexander Novak says the deal fell apart because Saudi Arabia had demanded Iran join in and that this was 'unreasonable'

Russian Oil Minister Alexander Novak at the meeting in Doha on April 17, 2016.
Russian Oil Minister Alexander Novak at the meeting in Doha on April 17, 2016.

Russia's Oil Minister Alexander Novak on Sunday said the country was not closing the door on a global deal to freeze output levels although he was disappointed that no decision had been taken.

A deal to freeze oil output by OPEC and non-OPEC producers including Russia fell apart after Saudi Arabia, during talks in the Qatari capital, demanded Iran join in despite calls on Riyadh to save the agreement and help prop up crude prices.

Novak said he had travelled to Doha expected all sides to sign the deal instead of debating it.

He said the deal fell apart because Saudi Arabia had demanded Iran join in and that this was ‘unreasonable’ since Iran was absent from the talks.

When asked whether Russia would freeze output levels, he said the government was not meant to regulate the output of private producers.

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