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Pumping for Mother Russia

Keeping oil output high is now a political imperative, connected with Russian pride

RUSSIA’S oil production is likely to remain close to record levels this year as the Kremlin offers producers exemptions for higher dividends and the chance to deflect major tax changes. President Vladimir Putin has always said that Russia should strive to remain one of the world’s top energy producers: it’s good for cash flow – regardless of the price of oil – and gives the country a seat at the top table of global politics and economics. And having toyed with plans to cooperate with other producers to limit output and support prices, Russia is now determined to keep pumping hard. It’s the difference a day makes: until 16 April, Russia assumed another freeze deal would be cobbled together

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