“In the NPR interview Obama suggested that the US administration was behind the sharp decline in oil prices, which was intended to hit Russia’s vulnerability,” State Duma foreign affairs committee head Alexei Pushkov posted on Twitter.
On Monday, US President Barack Obama told the NPR broadcaster that when the country and its allies were implementing sanctions against Russia they aimed to make its economy “sufficiently vulnerable.” Obama added that volatility in oil prices could be expected if not this year, then the year after, but stressed this was inevitable and Russia would have to overcome “enormous difficulty” to manage the falling prices.
Over the past six months, global oil prices have fallen by almost half.
In November, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) agreed to keep oil output levels unchanged, which provoked a further decline in oil prices and led to oil prices reaching a five-year low.
Russia, whose budget is largely dependent on oil prices, saw its currency lose over half of its value, slowing down the country’s economic growth.