Putin Reveals Whether He Will Step Down After His 2nd Consecutive Presidential Term

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Published on 13 Jun 2018, 12:24
Russian president Vladimir Putin held a meeting with heads of leading international news agencies on the sidelines of the 22nd St Petersburg International Economic Forum. The Russian president also answers a question about current Russia and Saudi talks in on potential easing off of the OPEC Plus agreement that caps output
Bloomberg News International Government Executive Editor Rosalind Mathieson (USA): My question actually is about OPEC and oil. Russia and Saudi are in talks about an easing off of the OPEC Plus…

Shall I start again? Thank you.

Russia and Saudi are in talks on potential easing off of the OPEC Plus agreement that caps output. I’m curious as to why that is. Is that because oil prices are too high? Is it because the US President has been pressing OPEC? Or a combination of that? I’m wondering also what is the preferred price for oil for Russia?

And if I might be so cheeky as to ask a very quick second question. Will you tell us here today that you will indeed step down at the end of your next term? Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: I will start with your last question. I have always acted strictly in keeping with the Constitution of the Russian Federation. It is clearly set out in the Constitution that a person can serve no more than two consecutive terms. I am currently in my second term. The limit is two consecutive terms.

You may remember that I served two presidential terms before, but after that I left the office, because the Constitution did not allow me to be elected for a third consecutive term. This is all there is to it. I intend to follow this law in the future as well.

I hope that I answered your second question.

As for your first question, we have developed business-like relations with a number of OPEC members and cooperate with them quite constructively. I am referring primarily to Saudi Arabia and our cooperation in the energy sector. There are many questions in this regard, but we have common ground in quite a few areas.

As you know, we took a decision to limit oil production to respond to what we saw as unfairly low oil prices. When the price of oil reached $60 per barrel, I mean around $60 or slightly above $60, we believed this to be a balanced price that was sufficient to make plans for the industry and invest in it. A higher price can be an issue for consumers, which is something major producers want to avoid.

The upsurge in the price of oil we are currently witnessing is beneficial for the Russian budget. On the one hand, Russia’s currency reserves are growing, and last year we had a trade surplus of $130 billion. These are all positive developments, but this is only one side of the story. On the other hand, we understand that this empowers our competitors, including US shale oil producers, as they take some market share. We have nothing against them, especially since much of the oil they produce is consumed domestically. However, we are not interested in the prices of energy resources and oil growing indefinitely.
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