Russia’s Novak says changes in Saudi oil management won’t hurt ties

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VLADIVOSTOK, Russia (Reuters) – Changes in the management of Saudi Arabia’s oil ministry will not impact cooperation between Moscow and Riyadh, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Wednesday, and he plans to meet his Saudi counterpart Khalid al-Falih soon.

The meeting would come ahead of a planned visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to the Middle Eastern kingdom.

This week Saudi Arabia named Yasir al-Rumayyan, head of the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, known as the PIF, as chairman of Saudi Aramco, replacing Falih as the state oil giant prepares for an initial public offering (IPO).

The move came after Saudi Arabia created a new ministry for industry and mineral resources, separating it from the country’s energy ministry. The separation and the appointment of Rumayyan appear to diminish the sprawling authority of Falih, who retained control of the energy portfolio.

“We will continue our international cooperation with our colleagues, with my friend Mr. Falih,” Novak told reporters.

Novak also said Russia continues its coordination with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on the global oil market, and that Russia could meet with Ukraine and the European Union for talks on gas supplies this month.

Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Writing by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Tom HogueOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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