Putin pins blame on Saudi Arabia and coronavirus for collapse in oil prices

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with members of the Security Council via a video link at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow, Russia April 3, 2020. Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin/Kremlin via REUTERS

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday blamed the recent collapse in oil prices on Saudi Arabia’s withdrawal from an OPEC+ deal over oil supply, as well the impact of coronavirus on demand.

At a meeting with Energy Minister Alexander Novak, Putin said Saudi Arabia was planning to get rid of its shale oil competitors and in order to do so, had to push the price lower than $40 a barrel.

Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin, Writing by Alexander Marrow; Editing by Hugh Lawson