NEWSWATCH: “Russia Flexes Its Soft Power Muscles; Extending output cuts deepens its role in global affairs” – Bloomberg/Julian Lee

File Photo of King Salman of Saudi Arabia Seated Next to Saudi Flag and Gesturing, adapted from image at defense.gov

“Oil has … [surpassed] $80 a barrel for the first time since November 2014. OPEC’s inventory target for output cuts has been met. … even though [Russian] oil companies want to turn on the taps and its finance ministry may be worried about prices rising too far, Russia won’t [end] its output deal with the group … when … participants meet in Vienna next month. … it will stand alongside its Saudi partner and continue to toe the line …. Oil Well file photo* * * Oil ministers Khalid Al-Falih and Alexander Novak … meet … later this week … [and] rising oil prices will certainly be on their agenda. … as oil prices continue to nudge $80 a barrel, don’t expect Russia to give up … political gains and lead a charge for the exit. ….”

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[featured images are file photos from other occasions]