Russia’s energy minister blames trade wars for global economic slowdown

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Russian energy minister Alexander Novak on Thursday blamed the ongoing trade wars for an economic slowdown in the US, EU and China.

Speaking at Russia Energy Week, Novak also said that the demand for oil will be lower in 2019, compared to 2018 and added that the US decision to impose tariffs on certain EU products on Wednesday was the reason behind a fall in oil prices.

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“The US is planning on introducing tariffs on a wide range of European goods and of course it affected the prices of oil,” he said.

The US is set to impose tariffs on $7.5 billion of EU goods, ranging from aircraft to cheese, olives and jumpers, effective from October 18.

Brent crude has lost more than a third of its value, from a year earlier, as an escalating conflicting between Beijing and Washington has cast a shadow over future demand for oil. Oil prices were down 0.3 percent at $57.75 a barrel in London on Thursday.

Energy leaders from across the world have convened at Moscow for a week to discuss matters ranging from the global energy outlook to challenges in the development of renewable energy.

The Russian Energy Week International Forum, entering its second day on Thursday, featured a panel on maintaining energy connectivity in an unstable world. Ministers in attendance included Saudi Arabian energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman and Alexander Novak, Russia’s energy minister.

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