Russia, Saudi Arabia discuss Aramco attack

MOSCOW

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin discussed on Wednesday a recent drone attacks on two Saudi Aramco oil facilities in a phone call with the kingdom’s crown prince.

During his conversation with Mohammed bin Salman, Putin expressed concern over aggression towards oil refineries and urged a “careful and impartial investigation”, the Kremlin said in a statement.

“The situation on the global hydrocarbons market, including the implementation of agreements in the OPEC + format, was examined. A mutual stance to continue close coordination in order to stabilize world oil prices was expressed,” the statement said.

Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Saudi Arabia temporarily cut oil production from the two oil facilities, adding up to nearly 2 million barrels per day, but on Tuesday Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said production had returned to pre-attack levels.

U.S. President Donald Trump has accused Iran of directing the attacks while Saudi Arabia awaits the results of the investigation.

Since 2015, the Saudi-led coalition has been fighting Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen. Thousands of Yemenis were killed and the country was pushed to the brink of famine.

In recent months, Houthis, whose mid- and long-range ballistic missiles are usually intercepted by Saudi air defense systems, have targeted certain strategic parts of Saudi Arabia with armed drones.
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