ABU DHABI, March 16 (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday ahead of talks with the leaders of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia to secure more oil flow from the Gulf and increase pressure about Russian President Vladimir Putin in relation to Ukraine.
With the UK, like much of the West, facing spiraling energy prices, Johnson is keen to encourage producers to increase pumping and secure other supplies to try to help consumers and reduce demand. dependence on Russian exports.
So far Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, whose close ties with Washington are strained, have ignored calls from Washington to increase oil production in order to control rising prices, which threaten recession. world After the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
* “The world must put aside Russian hydrocarbons,” Johnson said before their meetings. “Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are key international partners in that effort.”
The two Gulf countries are among the few OPEC oil exporters with spare capacity to increase output and offset supply losses from Russia. However, they have tried to maintain a neutral stance between Western allies and Moscow, making it a partner in the product grouping known as OPEC+.
The group has built up the production incrementally over 400,000 daily, resisting the pressure to make the actual performance faster.
The United Arab Emirates remains committed to the OPEC+ operation, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.
The wealthy Gulf state has deepened ties with Moscow and Beijing in recent years and last month abstained from a United Nations Security Council resolution crafted by the United States to condemn the invasion of Ukraine, which Russia has called ” special military operation.
(Reporting by Maha El Dahan in Dubai and Elizabeth Piper and William James in London; Writing by Dominic Evans; Editing in Spanish by Javier Leira)