The Kremlin said Monday oil output cuts by Russia, Saudi Arabia and other major producers that have caused prices to soar are “in the interests” of global markets.
The surprise move on Sunday came as oil prices have cooled in recent months after soaring last year following the start of the conflict in Ukraine.
“It is in the interests of global energy markets for world oil prices to remain at a good level,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
“Whether other countries are happy with this or not is their business,” he added.
The decision could anger the United States, which had already criticized the OPEC+, led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, over a previous cut in production last year.
Riyadh and other major oil producers announced Sunday a production cut of more than one million barrels per day, calling it a “precautionary” move aimed at stabilizing the market.
Russia said it would extend until the end of the year its own voluntary production cut of 500,000 barrels per day, a measure seen by experts as a way of making prices go up and counteracting the effect of international sanctions.
Russia’s deputy prime minister in charge of energy, Alexander Novak, said the measure was justified by the “high volatility” and “uncertainty” on the oil market.
“The predictability of the global oil market is a key element to ensure energy security,” he said in a statement.
Oil prices shot up on Monday, with both main crude contracts jumping around eight percent at one point.