BEIJING, Sept. 3 (UPI) -- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said Thursday he was discussing with his Russian counterpart ways to bring stability back to the oil markets.
Maduro joined Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of a state visit to Beijing to discuss trade and current market conditions.
The Kremlin said bilateral trade in the past had diminished "significantly," but had rebounded in 2015.
For Maduro, the trade emphasis was on slumping crude oil markets.
"We will discuss what we can do to stabilize the oil market and stabilize the prices, which would make it possible for us to overcome this protracted market situation characterized by low oil prices," he said in a statement. "We have some good ideas on how to develop this subject."
Both countries depend heavily on the oil sector for government for revenue. Most exporting nations are facing downward economic pressure because of low crude oil prices, down more than 50 percent from last year.
The Central Bank of Venezuela blamed last year's collapse in oil prices for a 2.3 percent drop in third quarter gross domestic product, sending the country into a formal recession.
High inflation in the country is eroding consumer purchasing power, which in turn has led to frustration with the Maduro administration. The International Monetary Fund warned, meanwhile, that Venezuela's economy would likely be among the hardest hit by lower oil prices.
Russia's currency, the ruble, plummeted in value early in 2015 as the low price of crude oil put pressure on an economy targeted by Western sanctions imposed in response to the Kremlin's position on crises in Ukraine.
The World Bank in December said it expected Russia's real gross domestic product should contract by 0.7 percent. That forecast was based on oil priced at $78 per barrel, about $28 above the current price for the global benchmark Brent.