3 Apr 2020 13:42

Putin to hold oil conference ahead of emergency OPEC+ meeting

MOSCOW. April 3 (Interfax) - Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold a meeting on the global energy market situation this afternoon similar to the one he held ahead of the March OPEC+ meeting, his spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters.

"Today, Putin will continue to work at Novo-Ogaryovo. He works mainly by conference call. Today in the middle of the afternoon there will be a call with permanent members of the Security Council," Peskov said. This will be conducted in secure mode, not via the Internet, he said.

"Then, in the course of the afternoon, another important event is planned, a conference on the global energy markets. Essentially it will be in the same format as before the president flew off on one of his regional trips, before the OPEC+ deal collapsed," Peskov said, recalling the conference Putin held at Vnukovo Airport on March 1, days before the OPEC+ meeting in Vienna. At that meeting, Russia and Saudi Arabia were unable to reach agreement to continue with oil production curbs which, combined with falling demand due to the coronavirus pandemic, caused oil prices to crash.

Peskov said these issues were discussed during a phone call between Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump.

"Intensive contacts are being made via the Energy Ministry with various countries, and you know about the generally poor atmosphere in the energy markets. All of this why the president intends to discuss the situation with the heads of the relevant ministries and oil companies," he said. Peskov did not comment on a question whether the conference had anything to do with the OPEC+ emergency meeting planned for April 6.

"Let's wait," he said.

The conference will take place between 3 and 4 p.m. Moscow time and part of it will be open to the press," Peskov said.