Saudi Arabia, Russia sign strategic oil pact

Updated 05 September 2016
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Saudi Arabia, Russia sign strategic oil pact

HANGZHOU: The world's two largest oil producers, Russia and Saudi Arabia, on Monday agreed to act together to stabilize global oil output.
Energy ministers Alexander Novak and Minister Khalid Al-Falih met Monday on the sidelines of the Group of 20 nations' summit in China. A joint statement released by Russia said both ministers "recognized the need to restrain an excessive volatility of the oil market" and agreed to act together "in order to stabilize the oil market."
“Of course, strategic works with Russia will be important given that they are one of the two largest producers of oil along with the Kingdom. There is no doubt that Saudi Arabia to see OPEC and non-OPEC countries to follow our lead in joining this strategic working group,” Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih.
Novak and Al-Falih said they would chair the first Russia-Saudi task force on oil and gas in October.


Translation: "The Ministries of Energy in both countries will work collectively to exchange technologies and develop the petroleum industry in both countries" — Khalid Al-Falih

Russia, which is not a member of the oil producing nations' group OPEC, this year supported calls to freeze production, but the efforts fell through after OPEC member Iran opposed the plan.
“Both Russia and Saudi Arabia, as the two largest oil producers in the world, have the heaviest burdens to see the oil markets stabilize,” Novak said.
Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates welcomed the agreement by Saudi Arabia and Russia to try jointly to stabilise oil prices.
Kuwait "welcomes the consultations between Saudi Arabia and Russia about oil markets... and backs the outcome of these consultations for the sake of achieving a balance in the markets", acting oil minister Anas al-Saleh told the official KUNA news agency.


India suspends Kashmir border trade with Pakistan

Updated 19 April 2019
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India suspends Kashmir border trade with Pakistan

  • Kashmir has been on edge since a February suicide attack that killed 40 Indian paramilitaries
  • India said it had reports that trade on the border was being “misused by Pakistan-based elements for funnelling illegal weapons, narcotics and fake currency”

NEW DELHI: India has suspended trade across its disputed Kashmir border with Pakistan, alleging that weapons and drugs are being smuggled across the route, as tensions simmer between the nuclear-armed neighbors.
Kashmir has been on edge since a February suicide attack that killed 40 Indian paramilitaries and brought the two countries to the brink of war with cross-border air strikes.
On Thursday, India’s government, which is in the middle of a tough national election, said it had reports that trade on the border was being “misused by Pakistan-based elements for funnelling illegal weapons, narcotics and fake currency.”
It also said many of those trading across the Line of Control, which divides Kashmir into zones under Indian and Pakistani control, had links to militant organizations.
The home ministry said trade would be suspended until a stricter inspection mechanism is in place.
The cross-border trade is based on a barter system, with traders exchanging goods including chillies, cumin, mango and dried fruit.
It began in 2008 as a way to improve strained relations between New Delhi and Islamabad, who have fought two of their three wars over the disputed region.
The Indian Express newspaper said Friday that 35 trucks carrying fruit traveling from the Indian side of the border had been stopped after the government order.
Trade on the border has been suspended before, including in 2015, when India accused a Pakistani driver of drug trafficking.
The latest move comes after India withdrew “Most Favoured Nation Status” — covering trade links — from Pakistan after the February attack, which was claimed by the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed Islamist group.
Islamabad has denied any involvement in the attack.
India’s Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made national security a key plank of his re-election campaign, pointing to the recent flare-up of violence as he battles the center-left opposition Congress party.
He is seeking a second term from the country’s 900 million voters in the mammoth election which kicked off on April 11 and runs till May 19. The results will be out on May 23.