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Saudi Energy Minister Khaled al-Faleh (L) and Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak (R). Photo: Amer Hilabi/AFP via Getty Images

"Russia’s energy minister insisted the country and its allies in OPEC need to watch the oil market in the coming weeks before making any decisions to cut output," Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: The Russian wavering is a sign of tricky negotiations looming in Vienna next month with OPEC and allied producers will discuss dialing back production to prop up prices, which have tumbled by roughly $20 per barrel since early October.

The intrigue: The Bloomberg piece lays out why Russian and Saudi interests are only aligned up to a point.

  • It notes that the Saudis need prices around $73 per barrel to balance their budget (Brent is trading at almost $67 this morning).
  • The other side: "In Russia, the state budget is much less dependent on oil prices than it was when the country agreed to join OPEC-led efforts to rebalance the market back in 2016."

But, but, but: "Market expectations continue to grow that OPEC+ will agree to cut production at their meeting in early December by anywhere between 1-1.4MMbbls/d," ING analysts said in a note Monday.

Go deeper

GOP implosion: Trump threats, payback

Spotted last week on a work van in Evansville, Ind. Photo: Sam Owens/The Evansville Courier & Press via Reuters

The GOP is getting torn apart by a spreading revolt against party leaders for failing to stand up for former President Trump and punish his critics.

Why it matters: Republican leaders suffered a nightmarish two months in Washington. Outside the nation’s capital, it's even worse.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

The limits of Biden's plan to cancel student debt

Data: New York Fed Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax; Chart: Axios Visuals

There’s a growing consensus among Americans who want President Biden to cancel student debt — but addressing the ballooning debt burden is much more complicated than it seems.

Why it matters: Student debt is stopping millions of Americans from buying homes, buying cars and starting families. And the crisis is rapidly getting worse.

Why made-for-TV moments matter during the pandemic

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Erin Schaff-Pool, Biden Inaugural Committee via Getty Images

In a world where most Americans are isolated and forced to laugh, cry and mourn without friends or family by their side, viral moments can offer critical opportunities to unite the country or divide it.

Driving the news: President Biden's inauguration was produced to create several made-for-social viral moments, a tactic similar to what the Democratic National Committee and the Biden campaign pulled off during the Democratic National Convention.