Putin expects mutual interests to improve Russian-US relations

07 October, 2017, 00:45 | Author: Katrina Soto
  • Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz

The king said the world's two top oil exporters would continue to collaborate to stabilise oil markets.

Saudi Arabia has agreed to buy Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile systems, Saudi-owned al-Arabiya television reported on Thursday.

Saudi Arabia is now investing over $1 billion in over 20 Russian projects including the construction of a petrochemical complex and Pulkovo Airport in St Petersburg, Russian Energy Minister and co-chairman of the Russian-Saudi Intergovernmental Commission Alexander Novak said.

"I'm sure your visit will boost the ties between our countries", he said.

The US is still Saudi Arabia's top weapons supplier and an important ally, but yesterday's deals highlighted Russia's growing influence in the Middle East. "Today we alone as the Russian Direct Investment Fund announced deals worth Dollars 2.1 billion", said Kirill Dmitriyev, the head of the fund set up to attract investment.

It was a historic moment when the king of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abdulaziz arrived in Russian Federation with an entourage of 1500 people and a golden escalator that travels with him.

Russian President Vladimir Putin distanced himself from President Donald Trump on Wednesday, dismissing the USA president as a man he's met once but has no personal relationship with.

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With diplomatic alliances shifting across the Middle East, Moscow hopes that King Salman's historic four-day visit will show that Moscow can forge close alliances with all the key Middle East players, including Turkey, Iran and now Saudi, the Guardian reports.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the two leaders had a "friendly and substantial discussion based on a desire by Moscow and Riyadh to consistently grow mutually beneficial partnerships in all spheres". He also said he had accepted the king's invitation to visit Saudi Arabia.

Mr Lavrov said Russian Federation supports Saudi efforts to unite splintered rebel groups in Syria in a bid to pave the way for peace talks to bring an end to the war.

Both sides are involved in the conflict, but on opposing sides.

Despite this, other factors weighed on oil prices, including the return to production of Libya's Sharara oilfield after an armed brigade forced a two-day shutdown.

A Russian energy source said a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was expected to be signed between Novatek and Saudi Arabia on a liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, known as Arctic LNG-2, that aims to start up in the 2020s.



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