MOSCOW, February 4. /TASS/. Head of the international affairs committee of Russia's State Duma (the lower house of Russia’s parliament) Alexey Pushkov has dismissed reports alleging that negotiations have been held on oil production cuts by Saudi Arabia in exchange for Moscow’s refusal to support Syrian President Bashar Assad. The report has been published by The New York Times.
"There have been no negotiations on cutting oil production by the Saudis in exchange for Moscow’s refusal to support Assad, it’s a canard," Pushkov wrote on Twitter Wednesday.
The publication in the New York Times claims Saudi Arabia has been trying to pressure Moscow to abandon support for President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, "using its dominance of the global oil markets."
The newspaper says "it is unclear how explicitly Saudi officials have linked oil to the issue of Syria during the talks." But, as follows from the publication Saudi officials say that they think they have some leverage over Russia because of "their ability to reduce the supply of oil and possibly drive up prices."