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Russian Energy Minister Meets US Treasury Chief on Sanctions

Russian Energy Minister Meets US Treasury Chief on SanctionsRussian Energy Minister Meets US Treasury Chief on Sanctions

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Tuesday he met with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to discuss energy issues and US sanctions on Russia. Russia is one of the world’s biggest crude oil and natural gas producers, and the United States has been urging global energy producers to boost output to stem an increase in prices, Reuters reported.

“We met. We discussed energy issues, among other things. We touched upon questions related to sanctions,” Novak said in a press briefing in Washington.

“We can’t sidestep these difficult questions, so of course we touched upon them during our contact.”

Novak said he also met with US Energy Secretary Rick Perry to discuss energy cooperation.

The meetings occurred while energy executives and ministers from around the globe converged on Washington for the triennial World Gas Conference, the industry’s biggest summit.

The US Congress imposed economic sanctions in recent months against Russia that, among other things, seek to prevent companies from participating in Russian pipeline projects or oil and gas development efforts.

The sanctions were designed to punish Russia for its 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and for meddling in the 2016 US presidential election. Moscow denies it interfered in the election. Russia depends heavily on pipeline networks to get its energy production to European markets and is also keen to develop energy reserves in its Arctic jurisdiction.

Novak has said in the past that the United States should not be permitted to impose such sanctions without a vote of the United Nations Security Council, of which Russia is a permanent member. The United States has been urging increased supply from the world’s biggest producers, including OPEC members, to help stem an increase in oil prices that threatens economic growth.

It is also renewing sanctions against OPEC-producer Iran and urging its oil consumers to stop their imports completely, another factor pushing up oil prices.

 

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