Last week, the new type of coronavirus was detected in Russia which is one of the border neighbors of China.
The epidemic may pose a threat to the Russian economy with the risk of falling global energy demand. China is also Russia’s biggest trade partner.
Due to the new type of coronavirus epidemic, Russia decided to close its border with China and impose visa restrictions for Chinese citizens and stopped rail transport with China.
On the other hand, due to increased geopolitical risks, Brent oil's barrel price fell below $60 per barrel on Wednesday, and is currently being traded at $56.
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak stated that they are closely monitoring the possible effects of the new type of coronavirus on the global oil markets, adding that, “Global oil demand may decrease due to the epidemic. We are ready to take the necessary steps together with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).”
Pointing out that the demand for oil will be affected due to the epidemic, Novak said, "If the forecasts come true, if the Chinese economy slows, global oil demand may decrease due to the epidemic."
Saying that they are in constant contact with the Saudi Arabian and United Arab Emirates (UAE) energy ministers regarding the developments, Novak said, “We are ready to take the necessary steps together with OPEC. However, in order to take these steps, we need to evaluate the situation more clearly and watch how it will develop in the coming days.”
OPEC members and some non-OPEC oil-producing countries including Russia agreed to meet on 5-6 March in Vienna, Austria's capital, to evaluate the outlook for the global oil market.