JRL NEWSWATCH: “As OPEC watches nervously, Russia and Saudi Arabia create a new axis – of oil; Russia is trying to be friends with everyone at once, and wielding growing influence” – Christian Scicence Monitor/Fred Weir

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“… Russia and Saudi Arabia ha[ve] agreed to ‘institutionalize’ their two-year old bilateral arrangement to coordinate oil production targets in order to smooth out global price fluctuations. Being two of the world’s three biggest oil producers – the third is the United States – their combined weight can be decisive. In 2016, Moscow and Riyadh agreed to slash production, and prices have since edged up from around $40 per File Photo of King Salman of Saudi Arabia Seated Next to Saudi Flag and Gesturing, adapted from image at defense.govbarrel to more than $65 at present. … Russia is more active in the Middle East than at any time since the collapse of the Soviet Union … forging fresh ties with … Saudi Arabia … Israel, Iran, Qatar, and Turkey. … [along with] Russia’s military intervention in Syria …. * * * This week Saudi Arabia and Russia agreed to increase production by up to 1.5 million barrels per day, which could lead to falling global prices. …”

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