President Vladimir Putin on Monday said that non-OPEC member Russia was ready to join measures to limit oil production, saying that this was the only way to balance the market after a prolonged period of low prices.
“In the current situation, we believe a freeze or a cutting of the production of oil is the only way preserve the stability of the energy sector and accelerate a rebalancing of the market,” he said at the World Energy Congress in Istanbul.
“Russia is prepared to join joint measures limiting production and calls on other exporting countries to do the same,” he added.
He expressed hope this would lead to a concrete agreement at a November OPEC meeting and that this idea would be a “positive signal to the market and investors”.
The period of low oil prices has been hugely damaging to economies like Russia which has failed over the last years to reduce its dependence on hydrocarbon exports for revenues.
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak is expected to attend an informal meeting of OPEC energy ministers in Istanbul on Wednesday.
Putin raised alarm that if the current trend of low prices continued, it could lead to a “chronic” lack of financing in the sector which could in turn lead to unpredictable flare-ups in prices.
“Russia as prominent energy power will always make its contribution to stable development,” he said, insisting that even in the current difficult times Russia was still investing in oil extraction.
Putin is making his first trip to Turkey following a crisis sparked by the shooting down of a Russian war plane over the Syrian border last November. He will later hold talks with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.