BEIJING Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that extending oil output cuts for a further nine months was the right thing to do to ensure stable oil prices.
Saudi Arabia and Russia, the world's two top oil producers, agreed on Monday on the need to extend the cuts for a further nine months until March 2018 to rein in a global crude glut.
At a news briefing in Beijing, where he is attending an international conference, Putin was asked how confident he was that the agreement between Russia and Saudi Arabia would bring stability to world oil prices.
"I think the prospects are good. I feel optimism because our main partner in this process, and our main partner without doubt is Saudi Arabia, has fully implemented all the agreements that took place up to now, and secondly, Saudi Arabia wants to maintain stable and fair prices for oil."
"Thirdly, I think it's right that the decision was taken not for two or three or four months but for nine months, to the middle of next year. That is the main condition for stability," Putin said.
"I very recently, there's no secret in this, met behind closed doors all the leaders of our biggest oil and gas companies, along with the energy minister. We discussed this theme, and we supported such a proposal."
(Reporting by Denis Dyomkin/Andrey Ostroukh/Christian Lowe; Editing by Dale Hudson)