Russia is ready to join members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in limiting production of crude oil, President Vladimir Putin said Monday, as exporters look to prop up prices for the commodity.
"We believe that a freeze or even a reduction in the production of oil is probably the only appropriate decision for maintaining sustainability of global energy," Putin said in a speech at the World Energy Congress in Istanbul, according to comments carried by Russian state news agency TASS.
Earlier this year, a deal on limiting oil production by Russia and OPEC's de facto leader, Saudi Arabia, the world's two largest oil suppliers, contributed to some price growth but failed to significantly reverse a rout that has devastated oil-dependent economies in recent years.
"A production freeze can at best only support the price of Brent [crude oil] at around 50 US dollars per barrel" where it is currently trading, said Chris Weafer, senior partner at Russian-focused investment consultancy Macro Advisory, in a note to investors Monday.
Putin was in Istanbul for the first time since Turkish-Russian relations were damaged last year when a Turkish fighter jet shot down a Russian warplane on the Syrian border.
The conflict in Syria, where Russia and Turkey support opposing sides, was expected to figure in a conversation between Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday.
Energy projects were also expected to share the focus of the meeting, including the Akkuyu nuclear power plant, which Russian companies are building in Turkey, and the Turkish Stream natural gas pipeline, planned to be laid under the Black Sea.
The leaders were expected to sign an agreement that would lay the political groundwork for the pipeline, which Russia hopes to use to pump gas from Russia to south-eastern Europe.
In a further sign of reviving relations, Turkey announced on Sunday that it agreed to sign a deal to create a billion-dollar investment fund with Russia to "boost relations in many areas, such as tourism, energy, agriculture and transport," Turkish state news outlet Anadolu Agency reported.
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