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Putin’s visit to Saudi Arabia planned for October, says Kremlin

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov is certain that the attack on Saudi Aramco oil facilities won’t affect preparations for the visit

ANKARA, September 16. /TASS/. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov is certain that the attack on Saudi Aramco oil facilities won’t affect preparations for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Saudi Arabia scheduled for October.

"The visit was indeed planned for October, the precise date will be announced when it is agreed with the Saudi side," he told reporters.

According to Peskov, "these incidents [as the attack on Saudi Aramco] undeniably cannot affect preparations [for the visit]."

"Both Moscow and Riyadh have enough political will to seek further enhancement of the Russian-Saudi cooperation," he explained.

Peskov branded the attack on the Saudi oil refineries as "a highly unpleasant affair", which has negative implications for global markets. "We hope that the Saudi side can mitigate the defense inflicted by the attack as soon as possible," the Kremlin representative underlined.

At the same time, Peskov refused to answer whether Russia can increase the oil production following these events.

Drone attack

The Saudi Aramco oil facilities situated in the east of Saudi Arabia were attacked by ten drones in the early hours of Saturday. The Ansar Allah movement’s Yemeni Houthi rebels from claimed responsibility for the attack. The attacks on the kingdom’s oil refineries led to crude output dropping by half of its normal level.

In particular, the world’s biggest oil refinery near the city of Abqaiq, where many western specialists reside, and a refinery near Khurais, where Saudi’s second largest oil field is situated, came under the attack. A huge blaze erupted at the two facilities. Later, the authorities announced that the fire had been contained.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday that the country’s authorities expected Saudi Aramco to restore approximately one third of crude output by Monday night, citing a source in the Saudi government.

Russia and OPEC+ nations agreed earlier to extend production cuts, starting July. As part of the deal, Russia reduces oil production by 228,000 barrels per day compared with the level of October 2018, when it amounted to 11.421 mln barrels. In total, OPEC+ countries agreed to slash oil production by 1.2 mln barrels per day, including 812,000 barrels from OPEC countries and 383,000 barrels from non-OPEC states.