President Donald Trump said he’s concerned oil prices have fallen too far and called Vladimir Putin on Monday to discuss Russia’s oil-price war with Saudi Arabia.
The leaders, who also talked about the spread of the coronavirus, agreed to discussions on oil between energy officials in the two countries, according to the Kremlin. Both leaders “agreed on the importance of stability in global energy markets,” the White House said in a statement.
The U.S. president said earlier he doesn’t want to see the American energy sector “wiped out” after Russia and Saudi Arabia “both went crazy” and launched into a conflict that depressed oil prices.
“I never thought I’d be saying that maybe we have to have an oil increase, because we do. The price is so low,” Trump said in an interview on “Fox & Friends.”
Crude oil futures tumbled as much as 7.7% in New York, touching an 18-year low.
The Trump-Putin call came at the request of the U.S. and was “prolonged,” according to the Kremlin. Neither the White House or Kremlin statements said specifically how long the two leaders talked.
Trump’s view on the oil dispute marks a shift from earlier this month, when he likened the plunge in oil prices to a “tax cut” for Americans. The U.S. president spoke to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on March 9 about the price war.