Putin, Saudi king discuss situation on oil market

Saudi king to make historic visit to Russia

Saudi king to make historic visit to Russia

Saudi Arabia's King Salman, on a landmark visit to Russian Federation, and President Vladimir Putin on Thursday signed a slew of arms and energy deals as the key USA ally seeks to deepen cooperation with Moscow.

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

Russian Federation has joined Iran in backing dictator Bashar al-Assad in Syria while Saudi Arabia supports the opposition.

The two countries helped secure a deal between OPEC and other producers to cut output until the end of March 2018, but back competing sides in Syria's civil war.

Following the meeting in the Russian capital, the two countries launched a joint energy investment fund worth $1 billion, while Saudi state oil firm Aramco penned preliminary agreements on oil refining with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and Russian resources group Sibur.

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After 81-year-old King Salman landed in Moscow on Wednesday evening, the escalator he used to descend from his plane malfunctioned, stopping midway and forcing the aging monarch to walk down the steps himself - after several moments paused awkwardly.

While Riyadh has maintained its strategic alliance with the United States, it has also sought to improve ties with Russian Federation in a bid to counter the influence of its arch-rival, Iran and dissuade the Kremlin from too close a partnership with Tehran.

We had a certain reduction in trade between both nations, but I think that it was partly due to subjective reasons, Putin said.

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Putin also insisted that Iran is complying with a nuclear agreement the U.S., Russian Federation and other world powers agreed to in 2015 - Trump may decertify the Iran deal - and warned that Trump's fiery rhetoric toward North Korea is leading to a "very risky end".

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Moscow and Riyadh also agreed to develop production in Saudi Arabia of the Kalashnikov automatic rifle and its ammunition as well as educational and training programs for Saudi nationals. Saudi Arabia had previously been opposed to the plan because it involves Iran. "The territorial integrity of Iraq must be preserved", the Saudi King told Putin, according to the Ynet news site.

Saudi Arabia's King Salman arrives in Russian Federation.

He said: "We emphasise that the security and stability of the Gulf region and the Middle East is an urgent necessity for achieving stability and security in Yemen".

Putin visited Riyadh in 2007.

When King Salman landed in Moscow and traveled to the center of Moscow, he was greeted with numerous billboards lining the road emblazoned with his own image and a message welcoming him to Russia in Arabic and Russian.

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Nasser will also meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday as part of an industry delegation to discuss investment in the oil and gas sector, one of the sources said.

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