News ID: 251984
Published: 0843 GMT April 27, 2019

Putin hopes Iran will continue oil exports despite US sanctions

Putin hopes Iran will continue oil exports despite US sanctions

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday he hoped Iranian oil exports would continue despite the United States’ efforts to stop them.

The United States announced this week that, in a bid to reduce Iran's oil exports to zero, it would from May end US waivers that countries such as India, China, South Korea and Turkey currently have on buying Iranian crude. Eight countries including China, India and Turkey had been given temporary waivers by the US when it reimposed sanctions on Iran last year.

US President Donald Trump expects Saudi Arabia and its Persian Gulf allies to boost output in order to offset the cut in Iranian supplies.

But Putin, in Beijing to attend an investment conference, said he was unaware of any Saudi intention to increase production.

Asked about Saudi Arabia’s position on offsetting the Iranian volumes taken off the world market, he told reporters: “I hope this does not happen in the end – but theoretically speaking, we have agreements under OPEC+.

"We currently produce 1.5 million barrels of oil per day and we can produce more. We have colossal potential.

"But we have an agreement with OPEC to maintain production at a certain level and this agreement is in force until July."

Putin was referring to a global output cut plan signed by both OPEC and Russia which is in effect until the end of June.

“We have not received any information from our Saudi partners or anyone else, any OPEC members, indicating they are ready to quit the agreements,” Putin said.

He added that he had “no idea how the world energy market is going to react” to the toughening of sanctions against Iran.

Putin said Russia will not immediately raise oil output after the US ends sanctions waivers for buyers of Iranian crude.

Washington has said it was working with top oil exporters Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to ensure the market was “adequately supplied”. But analysts fear the US move – along with sanctions on Venezuela – will leave the world with insufficient capacity.

Saudi Arabia, the world's top crude exporter, has also said it had no immediate plans to raise oil output after the sanctions waivers end.

According to IRNA, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates overstate their oil capacities.

Reuters and AFP contributed to this story.



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