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27 Apr, 2019 13:26

‘Hard to imagine’ how global market will react when US waivers on Iran oil expire – Putin

‘Hard to imagine’ how global market will react when US waivers on Iran oil expire – Putin

It’s hard to foresee how US efforts to bring Iranian oil exports to zero will play out in future, Vladimir Putin admitted, saying OPEC members should live up to their obligation to keep output as low as possible if it comes true.

Russia has an agreement with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to cut their output by 1.2 million barrels per day, which remains in effect until July of this year, Putin said. But the US waivers – which gave a host of countries an exemption from the existing anti-Iran sanctions – expire much earlier, he reminded.

I don’t imagine how the global energy market will react to that.

In November, the US re-imposed sanctions on Iran's energy, shipbuilding and banking sectors in a bid to deprive Tehran of its main sources of revenue. But it simultaneously issued waivers to China, India, Japan, South Korea, and Turkey – the main importers of Iranian crude – so that they can find alternative vendors of oil.

The waivers expire in May, meaning that those countries could potentially face US sanctions beyond that deadline. China and Turkey, on their part, have strongly condemned the American restrictions, arguing the US is not in a position to intervene in their trade ties with Iran.

Also on rt.com United States to end sanction waivers for countries importing Iranian oil

Commenting on the issue, Putin said he hopes the market will eventually avoid the deficit of Iranian oil and that Iran will still be able to sell it. The comment came on the heels of conflicting reports that Donald Trump persuaded Riyadh to ramp up oil output this lowering fuel costs; these reports were denounced by OPEC officials.

Nevertheless, there is “no evidence” that any country is going to withdraw from the OPEC+ agreement to drop oil outputs, Putin said.

We don’t have any information from our Saudi partners or other OPEC members that they are ready to pull out from the deal.

He assured that Moscow is “fulfilling its commitments” to the production cuts agreed by OPEC and several non-OPEC producers in December. Saudi Arabia is also “unlikely” to withdraw, being the driving force behind the wider coalition.

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