Russia to enhance cooperation with Kingdom: Putin


Saudi Gazette report

SOCHI, Russia
— Russia plans to expand cooperation with Saudi Arabia, President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club on Thursday.

According to Putin, Moscow and Riyadh have no ideological contradictions that Saudi Arabia and the Soviet Union used to have.

“There is n othing that would fundamentally divide us from Saudi Arabia or other countries of the Middle Eastern region. I have good personal, almost friendly relations with many, almost all leaders of those states,” he said, adding that the latest visit of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman to Moscow was historic.

“The visit of King Salman to Moscow earlier this month is a great honor for Russia,” Putin said.

“We are comfortable with the fact that those countries, including Saudi Arabia, have their own particular interests, historically developed ties, friendly relations, including with the United States.

“Russia is demonstrating a stable foreign policy, predictability and reliability. I think that this is what attracts our partners,” he said.

“We have agreed our position with OPEC nations and particularly with Saudi Arabia on the energy market, after which the price has been stable at over $50. We consider it a fair price. We are satisfied with it. This is a result of our joint efforts,” the president said.

According to Putin, military and technical cooperation is another promising area of cooperation with Saudi Arabia.

During the King’s visit to Russia, the two countries launched a joint energy investment fund worth $1 billion. The fund could include investments in natural gas projects and petrochemical plants.

Saudi state oil firm Saudi Aramco signed a deal with Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and gas processing and petrochemicals company Sibur on joint projects in the area of oil refining.

The two countries also agreed to cooperate in nuclear energy, agriculture, information technology; trade, investments and social development.