Unlikely allies: Oil brings Saudi king to Moscow

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz
Saudi king to make historic visit to Russia
Author

06 October, 2017

"In 2015, Saudi Arabia pledged $10 billion to invest in Russian Federation but two years on nothing has been invested", he said.

US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert was asked during a recent briefing whether the United States was concerned about the recent moves of its staunch allies - Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

However, the agenda also included issues on which the two sides deeply differ, including the war in Syria. Although Chechnya has a population of just over one million, Mr Kadyrov is one of Russia's most influential officials.

King Selman bin Abdulaziz and accompanying delegation of aircraft, landed in Vnukovo airport.

Now, $1bn (energy deal) is like a drop in water for a country having over $50bn in budget deficit and borrowing billions more, locally and internationally.

King Salman's visit to Russian Federation is a historic moment that will drive both countries closer and the relations will enter a new phase of further understanding and deeper cooperation.

Though a rally in September helped propel oil into a bull market, prices have slipped back amid concern the market remains oversupplied despite cutbacks by OPEC and its allies including Russian Federation.

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At the Russian Energy Week forum in Moscow, Novak said Russia is implementing oil production cuts as agreed with OPEC and non-OPEC countries, and are achieving the objectives that they set.

Both Russia and Saudi Arabia rely heavily on oil revenues and were hit by the slump in world energy prices.

Brent for December settlement gained 40 cents to $56.20 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange, after declining 20 cents on Wednesday. Signatories to the document were Alexander Dyukov, CEO of Gazprom Neft, and Amin H. Nasser, President and CEO, Saudi Aramco. This leaves Moscow aligned with Saudi Arabia's arch-rival Iran, whose influence Riyadh fears is growing in the region.

Through King Salman's visit to Russian Federation, a new phase of a coalition began based on joint interests that will be reflected on the region's stability and security which is a strategic goal both Riyadh and Moscow aim to reach. His Saudi counterpart, Adel al-Jubeir, said new horizons had opened for Russia-Saudi ties that he could not previously have imagined.

"King Salman does not do courtesy calls so it can be reasonably assumed that his first official visit to the Russian capital is a serious event", wrote Chris Weafer, a senior partner at Macro-Advisory, a consultancy.

Several investment agreements will be signed during King Salman's trip and plans for a US$1-billion fund to invest in energy projects are likely to be finalised. Another memorandum of understanding was signed under which Russian petrochemicals firm Sibur would explore cooperation with Saudi Arabia.


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