Saudi King's Russian Federation visit historic by all standards

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"This is the first visit of the king of Saudi Arabia to Russian Federation in the history of our relations, and this in itself is a landmark event", Putin said, according to a Kremlin statement.

A Russian energy source said a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was expected to be signed between Novatek and Saudi Arabia on a liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, known as Arctic LNG-2, that aims to start up in the 2020s, Reuters reported.

The visit comes after decades of tensions, most recently over the war in Syria, where Saudi Arabia had backed the Sunni rebels fighting to oust President Bashar Assad, while Iran had teamed up with Russian Federation to strengthen his control.

Saudi King Salman is now in Russian Federation as part of a state visit, the first to Moscow by a reigning Saudi monarch.

King Salman may also seek assurances from Moscow that Iran will not have a permanent role in Syria.

Ties between the two countries were often strained in the past.

He said that the visit of King Salman will give a great impetus to the common relations.


"We are awaiting the king's visit on Thursday", President Vladimir Putin's foreign policy aide, Yury Ushakov, was quoted by the state TASS news agency as saying. An oversupplied market a year ago, brought on by USA oil production and OPEC members working to defend market shares with more output, helped pushed the price of oil below $30 per barrel.

With 60 percent of Russia's budget revenues from oil imports, the kingdom is aware that Moscow prioritizes a sort of coordination and agreement with Riyadh on oil prices and production. He also said he had accepted the king's invitation to visit Saudi Arabia.

Russian state media hailed King Salman's visit as evidence that Russia's backing for Mr Al Assad had made Mr Putin "master of the Middle East".

HE Khalid Al-Falih (left), minister of energy, industry, and mineral resources, Saudi Arabia, and chairman, Saudi Aramco, walks alongside Alexander Novak (right), Russian energy minister, during their meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on 23 October 2016.

Putin did praise Trump as someone who will "never be anybody's hostage" but indicated that relations between Moscow and Washington, D.C., have been soured by domestic political fighting in the U.S.

Salman in his reply called Russian Federation a "friendly nation" and said his country is committed to strengthen ties "in the interests of peace and security".

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