Russian President Vladimir Putin has criticised Donald Trump’s decision to breach the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, saying it would “destabilise the region”. Putin said he would continue to work with the agreement that Trump dismissed as “horrible”, lifting international sanctions against Iran in exchange for the country to limit its nuclear programme.
Putin said Russia would honour its part of the deal, adding that Moscow was still in favour of the “unconditional implementation” of the deal.
Trump called the agreement “defective at its core”.
Putin said yesterday (Sunday) that he was ready to meet Trump “as soon as the US side is ready”.
“The US president has repeatedly said that it’s reasonable to hold such a meeting,” the newly elected president said. “As soon as the US side is ready, the meeting will take place, depending, of course, on my working schedule.”
Despite Putin’s comments, the resulting increase in oil prices that followed Trump’s Iran decision last month looks set to boost Russia’s economy.
Gazprom Neft, the oil branch of the Russian state-controlled gas giant, was ready to hike crude production, said CEO Alexander Dyukov yesterday.
Opec (the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries) and other leading oil producers, including Russia, have agreed to cut their combined output by 1.8 million barrels per day in order to smooth out global oil stockpiles and support oil prices.
A meeting is scheduled in Vienna on June 22-23 to discuss the future of the deal, which is valid until the end of 2018.
Russia and Saudi Arabia have signalled there could be a need to gradually increase production to prevent any supply shortages.
“It is obvious now that the production quotas should be revised. The quotas should be increased; this will be beneficial both for producers and consumers,” Dyukov told the media.
He added that the company would be able to increase its oil production by 5,000 tonnes per day if the restrictions were removed.
“We believe that the time has come that it makes sense to keep the deal in place but be more flexible on quotas,” Dyukov said.
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has also criticised Washington for “imposing its policies on the rest of the world”.
He told an international summit in the Chinese city of Qingdao yesterday that the Trump withdrawal threatened the world.
“The recent example of such unilateralism and the defiance of the decisions of the international community by the US government is its withdrawal from the [nuclear deal],” Rouhani told the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), an eight-member security bloc led by Beijing and Moscow to which Iran has observer status.
Trump’s decision to break the terms of the deal has been criticised for weakening western influence in Tehran and driving it deeper into China’s orbit.
Rouhani praised China and Russia for their efforts to maintain the agreement.
The SCO says its aims are to increase regional security and stability through trade, investment and development cooperation.
President of Iran Hassan Rouhani with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. Picture credit: Kremlin