Vladimir Putin must be unhinged. Just a few months ago he was able to wage war on his neighbor and threaten the West by saying that he would withhold his vast supply of oil while conducting war games with Huge Chavez of Venezuela.
Suddenly, the nations hungry for oil have fallen into recession. Recent data from China indicates that oil imports there hit unprecedented lows in November. So little crude is being used in the US that there is talk of gas prices going back to $1.
Putin has decided that he may marry up with OPEC to set and hold a significant cut in oil production to move prices up. He cannot support his military and economy with crude at $40. Venezuela and Iran are heading for economic ruin because their national incomes have dropped so much. According to The New York Times, "Faced with falling oil prices, Russia is preparing to announce that it will work with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to coordinate a reduction in output."