One week ago, as Saudi Arabia and other big OPEC countries and Russia gathered in Vienna to plan production cuts that could put a floor under falling prices due to the outbreak of coronavirus, crude was trading at more than $50 a barrel.

That’s when Moscow decided to blow up a three-year-old pact to manage global oil supplies, refusing to sign on to Saudi Arabia’s proposed cuts, sending the price of oil sharply down.

Riyadh responded not with unilateral cuts of its own but in the opposite direction. The country slashed selling prices for its oil and later announced plans to massively increase oil output, further driving down the price of oil that was already plunging due to the disease outbreak.

Commenting on the recent developments, Head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) Kirill Dmitriev said on Bloomberg TV that Russia and Saudi Arabia aren’t negotiating joint actions in the oil market amid falling oil prices, Report informs.

“There are no direct negotiations on this subject,” he noted. “We will see when they can be resumed.”

Dmitriev has been one of the supporters of the economic reapprochement between Russia and Saudi Arabia in recent years and one of the architects of the OPEC+ deal built on this friendship. The deal worked for three years, starting in 2017. Dmitriev added that the agreement brought over $94 billion of additional income to the Russian budget, thanks to keeping oil prices in a comfort zone.

The Dmitriev-led fund in 2017 created a joint investment platform with Saudi Arabia for $10 billion.

The cooling in Russian-Saudi relations happened after the collapse of the OPEC+ agreements at the March 6 meeting in Vienna.

As a result, from April 1, restrictions on production in member countries of the former alliance will be lifted. This announcement caused a market crash, and the price of Brent oil fell below $35 per barrel.