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Putin says political factors led to oil price growth

He also said Trump 'should look in the mirror' to find one responsible for the oil prices growth

MOSCOW, October 3. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin believes that the current growth of oil prices is connected with external, particularly political factors.

"The fact that the oil price is rising is not so much the result of our activities (compliance with international agreements on production cap) as the result of largely external circumstances: expected decisions regarding Iran, by the way absolutely unlawful decisions that are harmful for the global economy; this being a production decline in North Africa related to a number of political circumstances (civil war and the like); this being a production decline in Venezuela also due to domestic political factors and due to restrictions imposed there," he explained at the plenary session of the Russian Energy Week on Wednesday.

"Let’s put it bluntly, the (current level of - TASS) oil prices is in no small part the result of activities of today’s US administration," the president said. "Those expectations from sanctions imposed against Iran, political problems in Venezuela… what is happening in Libya. This is the result of an irresponsible policy that is having a direct impact on the global economy," he added.

According to Putin, it is necessary for various countries "to work closer with each other not only in the energy sector, but in the political field as well.".

Putin also said that he would advise US leader Donald Trump to look in the mirror in search of the person responsible for growing oil prices.

"We had a very good meeting with President Trump in Helsinki," Putin noted at the plenary session of the Russian Energy Week forum. "However, if we had raised the issue that we are discussing now, I would tell him that, if you want to find the one who is responsible for the growing [oil] prices, Donald, you need to look in the mirror."

In that context, the Russian leader recalled the impact of geopolitical factors on oil prices. "It is better not to interfere in these market processes so as to get certain kinds of competitive advantages with the help of political tools, and not to try to regulate the [oil] prices, the way it was in the Soviet Union. That does not bring about anything good."

The head of state stressed that actions agreed on with OPEC were actually the market tools. "We only equalize supply and demand in the market, that’s all," he stated. "Everything else would be geopolitical factors, which affect prices."

Speaking about the possible pressure on the US administration in this matter, Putin stressed he knew nothing about that. "Let’s talk about the energy sector," he said." "Please, do not drag me into the domestic political activities and squabbles in the United States. You need to sort things out all by yourselves, otherwise they will say once again that we are meddling in the internal political affairs of the United States.".

The Russian leader also shares the view of his US counterpart Donald Trump that the current oil prices are high. According to Putin, the oil price of $65-75 is satisfactory for Russia. "President Trump assumes that the (current oil) price is high. I think that he is partly right," he said.

"We will be quite satisfied with $70, 65, 75 per barrel," he said, adding that the level will be sufficient for effective operations of energy companies and the investment process."