Riyadh and Moscow reaffirm Opec+ role in oil market stability

Opec+ is set to convene its joint technical and monitoring committees on September 16 and 17, respectively

Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) shakes hands with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud during a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Antalya on November 16, 2015. AFP PHOTO / RIA NOVOSTI / MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV / AFP PHOTO / RIA NOVOSTI / MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV

The leaders of Saudi Arabia and Russia reaffirmed their commitment to work together to rebalance oil markets on Monday.

King Salman said Moscow played a "constructive role" in achieving "stability and balance" in oil markets in a statement following a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to the Saudi Press Agency.

Riyadh this year holds the chair of the G20 and the two leaders discussed efforts to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, increase bilateral relations and strengthen communication around Russia's new Covid-19 vaccine.

Saudi Arabia and Russia lead the Opec+ alliance of oil exporters who agreed to cut back an historic 9.7 million barrels per day from May until July to counter a record decline in demand due to the pandemic. The alliance has since eased cuts and is currently drawing back 7.7m bpd from the markets.

Oil prices fell on Monday with international benchmark Brent down 1.83 per cent to $41.88 per barrel at 5.27pm UAE time. West Texas Intermediate, which tracks US crude, fell below $40 and was down 1.61 per cent at $39.13 per barrel.

Opec+ is set to convene its next joint technical and monitoring committees virtually on September 16 and 17, respectively.

The Kremlin said in a separate statement that both sides are satisfied with the implementation of cuts agreed by alliance members and agreed to continue close co-ordination. It also said the two countries would work together on developing a viable vaccine.

"Particular attention is paid to the prospects for joint production of a vaccine developed in Russia for the prevention of infection," the Kremlin said in its statement.

Mr Putin's office also cited advancement of an initiative put forth by the Russian president to create "green corridors" for the supply of medicines, food, equipment and technology during the pandemic.

Russia's vaccine, called Sputnik V after the world’s first artificial satellite launched  by the Soviet Union in 1957, has induced an antibody response in trial participants.

Russia said it expects to produce between 1.5 million and 2 million doses per month of its potential Covid-19 vaccine by the end of the year, gradually increasing production to 6 million doses per month.