“I would like to note the following. Firstly, it was not we who initiated the withdrawal from this agreement. On the contrary, we offered to extend the agreement on current conditions till the end of the second quarter as a minimum or the [end of the] year,” Mishustin said at a meeting of the cabinet of ministers.
Mishustin added that Russia’s position with regards to the OPEC+ deal on the back of coronavirus-related instability was coordinated and measured.
OPEC has had production cutting pacts since 2016 with non-member allies led by Russia. The wider alliance, known as OPEC+, met in Vienna last Friday to discuss production cuts. After the talks, OPEC+ issued a statement saying it would continue consultations to stabilise the oil market, without mentioning any deeper cuts.
On COVID-19 Outbreak
The Russian government is ready for any possible scenario amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, the prime minister stated, adding that the risk of COVID-19 spread was minimized.
"We have already said in the beginning of March that it is necessary to take into consideration not only the previous risks but the consequences of the coronavirus outbreak as well while shaping the federal budget for 2021-2023, to make sure that we are ready for different scenarios," Mishustin said at a governmental meeting.
The prime minister called on Russians to pay attention to their health and to accept understandingly the measures taken to tackle the COVID-19.
"All the measures are taken to prevent and forestall the coronavirus. This is the main motive. This is why, despite an acute situation outside Russia, the threat of infection spreading in our country is reduced to a minimum," Mishustin said.
COVID-19 is spreading rapidly across the world. The World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 a pandemic on Wednesday, as the number of confirmed cases worldwide exceeds 126,200, with over 100 countries affected.