RUSSIA READY TO DISCUSS
Russia will not deliberately cut oil production to prop up prices, however its output may decline if prices remain low, local news agencies quoted Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich as saying on Tuesday.
He also said that Russia was ready to discuss measures aimed at oil price stabilization with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other key producers, TASS news agency reported.
"It's quite possible that if oil prices remain at the low levels for long, oil production could decline, as had been the case before. Anyway, we don't expect any significant cuts," Dvorkovich said according to TASS.
Oil prices almost halved from last year mainly due to oversupply.
OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia, in a strategy designed to squeeze out rivals, such as U.S. shale oil firms, has been reluctant to cut oil output in order to support prices.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro will discuss "possible mutual steps" to stabilize global oil prices when both visit China this week.
OPEC and Russia, one of the world's biggest oil producers, have held regular meetings but have not agreed on any coordinated action to prop up falling prices.
Dvorkovich reiterated that it would be technically difficult to restore oil production in Russia if output is cut artificially.
Russia has been pumping oil at a post-Soviet high of more than 10.7 million barrels per day and expects to maintain high levels of output next year.
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IMF - Output grew by 3.8 percent in 2017, underpinned by a resilient non-hydrocarbon sector, with robust implementation of GCC-funded projects as well as strong activity in the financial, hospitality, and education sectors. The banking system remains stable with large capital buffers. Growth is projected to decelerate over the medium term.
IMF - Higher oil prices and short-term portfolio inflows have provided relief from external and fiscal pressures but the recovery remains challenging. Inflation declined to its lowest level in more than two years. Real GDP expanded by 2 percent in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the first quarter of last year. However, activity in the non-oil non-agricultural sector remains weak as lower purchasing power weighs on consumer demand and as credit risk continues to limit bank lending.