Deputy crown prince: Kingdom, Russia going through best moments ever

Deputy crown prince: Kingdom, Russia going through best moments ever

Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, second deputy premier and minister of defense, during a meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow on Tuesday. — AFP

Saudi Gazette report

MOSCOW – Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, second deputy premier and minister of defense, said that Saudi Arabia and Russia have achieved a lot together and still have more to do.

During the meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin on Tuesday, Prince Muhammad told Putin that the relations between Saudi Arabia and Russia are going through one of their best moments ever.

“We have a lot of common ground. As far as our disagreements are concerned, we have a clear mechanism of how to overcome them. We are moving forward quickly and in a positive way,” he said, adding that the most important thing is that we are succeeding in building a solid foundation to stabilize oil markets and energy prices.

Later, in a cable of thanks sent to Putin, Prince Muhammad said: “The joint talks we held have proven determination to move forward to deepen relations between the two countries in all fields and work on a continuation of consultation and coordination regarding issues of common interest serving interests of the two friendly countries and peoples.”

On his part, Putin told the deputy crown prince during the meeting: “We are grateful to you for your ideas and the joint work between OPEC and the countries which are not part of it.

We support political contacts, contacts between defense ministries, and we work together on sorting out difficult situations, including in Syria,” Putin said.

Last December, Russia and 10 other non-OPEC nations agreed to join OPEC’s output cuts for the first time in 15 years. Last week Moscow agreed to extend its cooperation by another nine months until March 2018.

Both Moscow and Riyadh said that cooperation would last beyond the current agreement as both countries are still trying to find ways to co-exist with U.S. shale oil producers, who are not part of the global output reduction deals.
As a part of Tuesday’s talks, the Saudi Public Investment Fund signed a memorandum of understanding with the Russian Direct Investment Fund to explore an opportunity to join a consortium of investors in a Moscow real estate project. The Russian fund also said in statement both parties are evaluating more projects, including in retail, real estate, alternative energy projects, transportation and logistics infrastructure.

During the meeting, Prince Muhammad and Putin discussed ways of enhancing Saudi-Russian oil agreement, which was led by the Kingdom, among non-OPEC oil producing countries, especially Russia, and discussed means of stimulating and activating this agreement to achieve positive returns to stabilize the oil markets.

The two sides also reviewed the Saudi-Russian cooperation in the field of petrochemical industries and a number of oil industries, as well as the partnership and uniting efforts to combat terrorism and extremist ideology in Central Asia, and the regional issues, especially the Syrian crisis.
The meeting was also attended by Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir; Minister of Commerce and Investment  Majed Al-Qasabi; Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid Al-Faleh, and a number of senior Saudi and Russian officials.