Russians are struggling to make ends meet, as its economy continues to be pulled downward by the declining oil price and high inflation.
Donald Trump wants Riyadh to keep pumping oil to keep global prices low, a tactic that pleases his blue-collar base at home. But the Saudis may balk at opposing other OPEC members ahead of a key meeting of the cartel.
Russian President Putin has voiced strong support for his Venezuelan counterpart but made no mention of new loans. Beleaguered South American leader Nicolas Maduro is dependent upon Russia for his survival.
Following two days of tense talks in Vienna, a deal to reduce oil production has been struck by OPEC and Russia. Prices have already risen on the back of the news, but Donald Trump will not be pleased.
The European Union is mulling its own Magnitsky Act — meaning more pressure on Russia. Time to ask what impact current US and EU sanctions have had on the creaking Russian economy so far.
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