Monday, 18 December, 2017

Saudi Arabia's King Salman Arrives Russia for First Visit

Survey Shows Spike In OPEC's September Oil Production Russia's President warns against complacency in World Cup readiness
Christy Curtis | 06 October, 2017, 01:16

In a sign of the improving relationship, Saudi Arabia signed preliminary agreements with Russian Federation to buy S-400 air defence systems, as well as anti-tank weapons and multiple-rocket launchers, the Saudi Arabian Military Industries said.

They are engaged in an intense battle over who will be the top supplier to China, a major energy importer with an insatiable appetite for crude.

Saudi Arabian King Salman bin Abdul Aziz harshly criticised Iran on his first visit to Russian Federation, which has close relations with the Islamic republic.

Saudi Aramco and Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) is expected to sign an MoU with Russia's biggest petrochemical firm Sibur to examine opportunities for building petrochemical plants in the two countries. He also said he had accepted the king's invitation to visit Saudi Arabia.

It was the first ever state visit by a Saudi monarch to Russian Federation, and both sides were looking to broaden the relationship.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said some time ago that y were determined to support process conducted by Saudi Arabia for garing of Syrian opposition groups.

In July, Rostec CEO Sergei Chemezov announced the signing of a preliminary agreement in the field of defense cooperation between the Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia in the amount of 3.5 billion U.S. dollars.

Saudi Arabia's investment in Russian Federation has already amounted to $1 billion, but Russian Federation intends to increase the amount further at least twice.

"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.

At the same time, Saudi Arabia continues to present itself as a regional and worldwide player that is indispensable.

Yet while officials were upbeat about the country's progress in preparing for next year's tournament, they stressed that much still needed to be done. "But you shouldn't think it's forever".

Russian Federation is party to a committee monitoring overall compliance to an agreement enacted in January that was created to drain the five-year surplus in global crude oil inventories with managed production declines.

OPEC members have joined with Russian Federation and other countries in cutting crude output in a pact that has helped prop up prices. Putin said he expected the world oil market soon to be balanced. This leaves Moscow aligned with Saudi Arabia's arch-rival Iran, whose influence Riyadh fears is growing in the region.

Besides, extension of production cuts, till March 2018, is a key issue to come up for talks, as the sharp oil price decline, over the past three years, and predictions that it will continue hovering around $55 per barrel till 2017-end, has not yet reflected the high hopes that cuts in production would achieve.

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