Russian President, Saudi King Salman discuss bilateral relations in Riyadh

Russian President, Saudi King Salman discuss bilateral relations in Riyadh

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz discussed positive developments in Saudi-Russian developments in a televised meeting from Riyadh, where Putin is visiting, on Monday.

Russia is committed to developing bilateral relations with Saudi Arabia, which have been ongoing for the past 90 years, said Putin, who added that Saudi-Russian cooperation is important to ensure stability in the Middle East.

King Salman said that Putin’s visit was a “big opportunity” to strengthen the friendship between the two countries. Deals between Russia and Saudi Arabia will have positive outcomes, especially in the energy sector, he added.

Trade between Russia and Saudi Arabia increased by 15 percent last year, according to Putin.

Russia and Saudi Arabia will sign more than $2 billion of deals and discuss the OPEC+ oil output agreement, according to a senior official. The two countries are both major oil producers, and Moscow recently stated that it remained committed to working with Saudi Arabia to support oil prices by curbing output.

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Putin’s visit comes as Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman and his Russian counterpart Alexander Novak discussed the two countries’ ongoing partnerships, as well as their outlook for global oil markets, at Saudi-Russian Forum in Riyadh.

On Sunday, Al Arabiya English broadcast an interview which Putin gave to Al Arabiya’s Mohammed Tomaihi. “We consider Saudi Arabia a friendly nation. I have very good relations with both the King [Salman bin Abdulaziz] and the Crown Prince [Mohammed bin Salman],” Putin told Tomaihi.

“If anyone thinks that seizing tankers and attacking oil infrastructure can in any way affect cooperation between Russia and our Arab friends, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, that they can undermine or break down our cooperation with OPEC+, then they are profoundly wrong,” said Putin, addressing a question on regional security.

The wide-ranging interview also discussed the Iran nuclear deal, US President Donald Trump, US-Russia relations, and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Putin’s visit to the Kingdom is his first since 2007. King Salman visited Moscow in 2017.

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