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    Russia to Defend Oil Output Freeze, Hopes OPEC Countries to Reach Consensus

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    Russia will defend its stance in freezing oil output among leading producers and hopes that members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will reach consensus, Russian Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matvienko said Monday.

    UFA (Sputnik) – Major producers failed to reach an agreement on cutting production to January levels in Doha on Sunday behind Saudi Arabia’s surprise insistence on fellow OPEC member Iran’s inclusion in the deal.

    "We still hope that the OPEC countries and other oil-producing countries reach a consensus… We are not dramatizing, we will work with partners and defend our position," Matvienko told reporters.

    She underscored the common interest of stabilizing plummeting oil prices, which saw further declines after producers failed to curb output at January levels, a subject first broached in February. Brent benchmark crude fell 3.34 percent to $41.66 per barrel, while WTI Crude dropped nearly 4 percent to $38.76 as of mid-Wednesday.

    The output freeze may be addressed at OPEC’s next meeting in Vienna in June, where non-members could join the deal.

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    Oil in Turmoil (134)

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    Oil, OPEC, Valentina Matvienko, Russia
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