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Saudi Arabia and Russia

Saudi King’s historic visit to Moscow: Middle East, bilateral issues on table

King Salman of Saudi Arabia is scheduled to arrive in Moscow on Thursday for the first such visit by a reigning Saudi monarch. He will meet Russian President Putin to discuss bilateral issues, as well as conflicts in north Africa and the Middle East.  

Putin and King Salman may discuss defense industry cooperation between the two countries, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday.

“It can be assumed that it will also be on the agenda,” Peskov said when asked about the matter.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov believes that the King’s visit will become “a milestone event in our relations bringing our cooperation to a totally new level,” he told Asharq Al-Awsat, an international Arabic newspaper, on Wednesday.

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The minister added that both countries aim to further develop bilateral relations at various levels, and that Moscow is intensifying efforts to strengthen trade ties and humanitarian relations with Saudi Arabia.

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Our common objective is to increase our trade turnover and expand the commodity component of it, which – we both think – has yet to correspond to the significant potential,” Lavrov said.

Riyadh and Moscow are also jointly working on the implementation of OPEC-Plus agreements to reduce global oil production, he added.

On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he believes the prolongation of the agreement between OPEC and non-OPEC countries on oil output cuts is possible.

“The world economy benefits from what we and OPEC did,” Putin said during the plenary session of Russian Energy Week. He added that he doesn’t rule out extending the deal past March 2018.

OPEC and Russia have been trying to stabilize crude oil prices, which have more than halved since 2014.

On Wednesday Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Jubeir said he believes that after the visit relations between Russia and Saudi Arabia will move from good to excellent, as cited by Interfax.

“The visit … is considered to be historic, as this is the first visit of the head of the [Saudi] kingdom to Russia. A number of important documents are expected to be signed," Jubeir said at a meeting with Valentina Matvienko, the speaker of the Russian Federation Council, the upper chamber of the Russian parliament.

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There is no doubt this visit will be successful, he added

 

 

October 4, 2017

 

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