Putin: Saudi king's visit to give 'impetus' to ties

Saudi king to make historic visit to Russia

On Thursday, President Vladimir Putin is due to meet Saudi King Salman for the first time.

During the visit King Salaman said he was looking forward to building a strong relationship with Russian Federation "in the interests of peace, security and development of the world economy".

Ties between the two countries were often strained in the past.

Dmitriev also told CNBC the evolving relationship was about more than supporting the oil price.

Almost a year into the production-cut deal that brought together major OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said there was no pressure on Iran to join the cuts.

So far, that deal is holding.

Khalid al-Falih, energy minister for Saudi Arabia, and other OPEC ministers have indicated the deal could be extended, but only by a few months and not until the end of 2018.

King Salam's delegation agreed joint investment deals worth billions of pounds providing a boost to the Russian economy after it was battered by low oil prices.

Trade volume between the two countries reached $2.8 billion previous year, according to official Saudi press. He also referred to a 2015 deal when the Public Investment Fund (PIF) agreed to invest $10 billion in Russian Federation.

During his four-day trip, the king and Putin are expected to discuss the global oil market and the situation in the Middle East. Putin said. "I think that all things change".




The Saudi monarch's visit comes after decades of strained relations.

More recently, tensions were high over the war in Syria.

Riyadh supports US -backed rebels fighting against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government, while Russian troops and Iranian militias have backed Assad in the country's six-year civil war.

However, relations have begun to improve in recent years and Salman's heir, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has held several meetings with Putin.

This is the first visit to Moscow by a reigning Saudi Monarch.

Both Israel and Saudi Arabia fear that with Russian acquiescence, Iran is building a corridor of territorial control through Iraq and Syria to its powerful proxy Hezbollah on Israel's border in South Lebanon.

Another potential point of disagreement between Riyadh and Moscow could be Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition has been bombing Huthi rebels since 2015, drawing criticism from Moscow.

With the performance of Russian weapons coming in for praise in Syria, Saudi Arabia could be looking beyond its long traditional procurement sources of the USA and Western Europe. The Riyadh Administration, which is converging on Russian Federation, aims to diversify its diplomatic relations and reduce dependence on United States, while key players in region develop strong partnerships with Turkey and Iran, a challenging process to conduct Moscow with Saudi Arabia Waiting.

"That said, it's clear that Russian Federation has been able to play a weak hand very well and step into vacuums everywhere where the US has treated", he said.

RBC also forecasts that if the US proceeds with restoring sanctions against Iran, it will discourage European and Asian energy firms from doing business with the Islamic republic - thus clearing a path for Rosneft to thrive.

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