Fresh Start: Saudi Arabia Turns to Russia Seeking to Diversify Foreign Relations

A worker at an oil field owned by Bashneft Bashkortostan Russia

A Saudi-Russian business forum is also taking place during the King's visit.

"We are committed to continuing positive cooperation between our nations to achieve stability on the global oil markets", King Salman was reported as saying by Russian state news agency Tass. Yet, pre-contract negotiations on the subject may commence should all necessary agreements are reached during King Salman's meeting with President Putin.

Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation helped secure a deal between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and 10 rival suppliers to cut output until the end of March 2018 in an effort to reduce a glut.

He further said that Russian Federation is satisfied with the current level of oil prices.

OPEC and its partners, including Russian Federation, need to extend their oil-production cuts for at least three more months to keep crude prices at current levels, according to UBS Group AG.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih, who is also Chairman of Aramco, said that the IPO was set to happen in the second half of 2018 and there was nothing to indicate that the schedule is slipping.

The message of further joint Saudi-Russia action on output helped push up oil prices on Thursday.

Brent crude was up 70c at $56.50 a barrel by 1.40pm GMT. Mr Putin sent in Russia's military to prop up Bashar Al Assad, the Syrian leader, in 2015, while the Saudis are financing rebel groups.




"Today, the King of Saudi Arabia went to Moscow, and at the same time, the president of Turkey went to Tehran, to Iran".

His Saudi counterpart, Adel al-Jubeir, said new horizons had opened for Russia-Saudi ties that he could not previously have imagined.

"We aim to strengthen our relations in the interests of peace and security, in the interests of developing the world economy", the Saudi king responded.

Both Falih and Nasser are part of an official Saudi visit to Moscow.

Among the expected agreements is the establishment of a $1 billion fund for technology investment, cooperation in water desalination and energy efficiency in air-conditioners, as well as Saudi investment into toll-free roads in Russian Federation.

Russian analysts say that King Salman is seeking to diversify Saudi alliances because of uncertainty over Donald Trump's Middle East polices.

Absent from the slew of deals was any agreement on Saudi Aramco taking a stake in an Arctic liquefied natural gas project run by Russia's Novatek.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said that the value of investment agreements expected during the visit is more than $3 billion.

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