King Salman Receives Russia’s Putin in Riyadh

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Russian President Vladimir Putin paid an official visit to Saudi Arabia on 14 October, which marked his first visit to the Kingdom in twelve years.

On Monday, Russia and Saudi Arabia signed over 20 documents on the sidelines of President Vladimir Putin's visit to Riyadh, including the charter for long-term cooperation between the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-cartel oil producers. Russian Federation and Iran back President Bashar al-Assad, while the Saudis support the opposition seeking his ouster.

Putin is scheduled to visit Saudi Arabia on Monday.

"It is possible, and we should, discuss Iran's missiles programme... but the missile programme is one thing and the nuclear program is another thing", Putin was quoted as saying.

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These tensions spiked last month after the attacks on Saudi oil facilities that halved the kingdom's crude output and set oil markets alight. Iran denies the charges.

Analyst Lukyanov said that Moscow - with its older ties to Iran as new links with Saudi - could "play the role of peacemaker" as tensions between Tehran and Riyadh continue to rise.

In televised remarks, Putin and the king said bilateral relations were important to regional security and stability.

Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Company - and RDIF will be jointly searching for investment projects in agriculture and livestock industry in Russian Federation, the source added.

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Putin added that while Russian Federation was ready to help the Saudi fact-finding effort, it would remain a firm friend of Iran.

Asked about concerns Riyadh was cozying up to Moscow, Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir said he saw no contradiction.

The value of non-oil trade between the UAE and Russian Federation over the past five years amounted to US$14.1 billion, while last year's non-oil trade totalled $3.4 billion, compared to $2.5 billion in 2017, a growth of 36 per cent. He also touted Russia's strong ties with many US allies, saying he can't see why Russian Federation and the USA wouldn't establish a closer partnership.

"As far as Russian Federation is concerned, we will do everything possible to create the necessary conditions for a positive dynamic" aimed at easing tensions, Putin said in the interview broadcast Sunday.

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The two sides are expected to sign more than $2 billion of deals, including a joint investment by state oil giant Saudi Aramco and Russia's RDIF sovereign wealth fund. The oil major could sell 1-2% through a local listing its chairman said would be announced "very, very soon", ahead of a potential global offering.

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