No Saudi-Russian talks to bump up oil price in return for disowning Assad – Moscow

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Russian President Vladimir Putin

RT News

Published time: February 04, 2015 09:57

Moscow denies a report claiming that Saudi Arabia had offered to adjust its oil production and create a crude price rise in exchange for Russia withdrawing support for Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The report in the New York Times cited an anonymous Saudi and US diplomatic sources as saying that Riyadh used its large oil market share as leverage in negotiations with Moscow.

“If oil can serve to bring peace in Syria, I don’t see how Saudi Arabia would back away from trying to reach a deal,” a Saudi diplomat was quoted as saying.

The report was denied by Aleksey Pushkov, the head of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Russian State Duma.

“The New York Times distorted information so many times, especially since the Ukrainian crisis started. I wouldn’t advise you taking it as a reliable source. There were no talks of such exchange,” the official told RSN radio station.

Saudis kinda admit to keeping oil prices low to screw Russians and gain influence in Syria. No mention of ISIS. http://nyti.ms/1z8iOL6

The New York Times @nytimes

 

He added that the Russian delegation headed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, which visited Saudi Arabia for the funeral of late King Abdullah, did discuss oil-related issues, but no shady deals were proposed.

“We discussed oil, pricing, coordination between OPEC members and non-member states. The talks were positive and constructive. There was no Syrian dimension in them,” Pushkov said.

He added that Saudi Arabia is in the process of changing its position on the Syrian crisis and distancing itself from the armed conflict.

 

President of Russia Vladimir Putin (L) and Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (R) of Saudi Arabia talk through their interpreters during a plenary session at the G20 leaders summit in Brisbane November 15, 2014 (Reuters / Rob Griffith)

President of Russia Vladimir Putin (L) and Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (R) of Saudi Arabia talk through their interpreters during a plenary session at the G20 leaders summit in Brisbane November 15, 2014 (Reuters / Rob Griffith)

The report was denied by Aleksey Pushkov, the head of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Russian State Duma.

“The New York Times distorted information so many times, especially since the Ukrainian crisis started. I wouldn’t advise you taking it as a reliable source. There were no talks of such exchange,” the official told RSN radio station.
He added that the Russian delegation headed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, which visited Saudi Arabia for the funeral of late King Abdullah, did discuss oil-related issues, but no shady deals were proposed.

“We discussed oil, pricing, coordination between OPEC members and non-member states. The talks were positive and constructive. There was no Syrian dimension in them,” Pushkov said.

He added that Saudi Arabia is in the process of changing its position on the Syrian crisis and distancing itself from the armed conflict.

 

READ MORE: Oil can recover to $200 if supply dries up – OPEC head

The report was also denied by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who called it “nothing more but speculation by the paper.”

Saudi Arabia has been an outspoken critic of the Syrian government over the years of civil war there. It was reported to supply weapons to various opposition groups seeking to topple Assad.

Russia remained an ally of Assad and negotiated a deal with the US, which led to dismantling of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal. The deal saved face for Washington, having pledged to use military force against Damascus due to alleged use of chemical weapons, but being reluctant to actually do it.

The oil market experienced the biggest drop in price in years in 2014, imperiling the economies of oil exporters, including Russia and Saudi Arabia. Riyadh said it would not reduce its output regardless of the price do protect its market share.

Member of the U.S. Foreign Affairs Committe demand termination of cooperation with Ukraine

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A member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the US Congress Steve Stockman demanded the investigation of the facts of embezzlement of state funds by Ukrainian officials and statesmen. The document was forwarded to the Investigative Service of the Congress. The national bank of Ukraine, which had been ineffective in the placement of funds provided by the USA, became the main target of the congressmen’s concern. According to Stockman, the USA had already imposed sanctions against the former ministers and officials, total number of which is 18 persons.

Stockman also claimed that Ukrainian officials withdrew the money transferred from Washington offshore, having used Ukrainian banks and the investment companies owned by Ukrainian officials. Altogether Ukrainian officials had distributed a bit more than a billion USD. The congressman claimed that the specialized Investigating Service of the Congress ought to consider the facts proving the real scale of corruption in Ukraine and revise the prospects of granting more funds. In his opinion, American tax payers should not bear the burden of Ukrainian problems. In April of 2014 the parliament of the USA agreed to grant Ukraine with a credit amounting to 1 bln USD at 1.8 per cent per year, which was the cheapest credit in the history of Ukraine.

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