PARIS, France – Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman received a phone call from Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday, and he offered to make efforts to mediate talks between Moscow and Kyiv as Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine.
Bin Salman said his country support ‘efforts that lead to a political solution that leads to its end and achieves security and stability, and the Kingdom is ready to make efforts to mediate between al parties’, he said in a statement posted on state – run Saudi Press Agency Thursday.
He also addressed energy concern over the situation in Ukraine, reaffirming his country’s commitment to the OPEC+ agreement, a pact made by 10 major crude oil producers and Russia to gradually pump more oil in the market to meet demand.
Saudi Arabia, which counts Russia as its main partner in the OPEC+ alliance, said Tuesday it ‘supports international de – escalation efforts in Ukraine’.
According to a Kremlin readout of the call:
‘It was stated with satisfaction that the OPEC+ Plus member countries are consistently fulfilling their obligations, contributing to ensuring stability in the world oil market. Russia and Saudi Arabia will continue to coordinate their approaches within this format’.
‘Taking into account the anti – Russian sanctions imposed by a number of Western countries, Vladimir Putin emphasized the inadmissibility of politicizing the issues of global energy supply, and also outlined the fundamental approaches of the Russian side in the context of the ongoing special military operation to protect Donbass’, the readout said.
Russian oil has not been directly targeted by the West’s crushing sanctions on Moscow – so far, at least. In fact, the United States and Europe have gone out of their way to avoid hitting Russia’s fossil fuels.
But the market is taking no chances when it comes to Russian oil. Traders, shippers, insurance companies and banks don’t want to touch it, for fear of running afoul of Western sanctions.
This means that a considerable amount of Russian oil has been effectively sidelined – precisely what the West didn’t want to happen. Prices for oil and gasoline have skyrocketed.
‘The sanctions have led to a de facto ban on Russian oil’, Andy Lipow, president of consulting firm Lipow Oil Associates, told CNN.