Riyadh: A multimillion-dollar tranche of deals signed in Riyadh on Monday set the seal on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s first official visit to Saudi Arabia since 2012.
The 20 agreements covered oil and other energy industries, space and satellite navigation, justice, health services, tax administration, mineral wealth, tourism and aviation, along with cultural cooperation and the enhancement of trade relations.
The key deal was an agreement to increase cooperation in the OPEC+ group — the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, led by Saudi Arabia, plus 10 non-members led by Russia. Moscow has worked closely with OPEC to limit supply and stabilize prices after a 2014 slump.
Prince Abdulaziz said the two countries had begun a new phase of cooperation. “At the Saudi-Russian Joint Committee, we are working together to harmonize the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plans with its strategic objectives and Russia’s strategic development plans,” he said.
State-owned enterprises and the private sector in both countries would make a significant effort in achieving the goals of the new agreements, the minister said.
Earlier, Russian and Saudi flags lined the streets of Riyadh as Putin arrived at Al-Yamamah Palace in the capital, to be greeted by King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in a welcome ceremony with full military honors.
“The joint investment and trade opportunities between the two countries that will be consolidated by many agreements, especially in the field of energy, will have significant positive results on the interests of our two countries and peoples.”
In response, Putin said King Salman’s visit to Russia in 2017 had contributed to the strengthening of relations and increased cooperation and trade between the two countries, and hailed the Kingdom’s important role in safeguarding global economic interests.