Russian President Vladimir Putin to visit key Muslim country
MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit Saudi Arabia Monday for talks on oil and tensions between Ryadh and Tehran, exacerbated by a recent attack on Saudi oil infrastructure, the Kremlin said.
The planned visit is the first by Putin since 2007 and will include a meeting with Saudi King Salman as well as the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Kremlin’s top foreign policy aide Yury Ushakov told journalists on Thursday.
The “long-awaited” visit will include discussions on “further cooperation to stabilise prices on the world carbohydrate market” as well as the situation in Syria, the Persian Gulf and Yemen. Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest crude exporter, is the leading member of OPEC which has been cooperating with Russia to cap oil production in a bid to keep prices from falling too low.
Russia’s sovereign wealth fund Russian Direct Investment Fund said in a statement that it will announce more than 10 agreements during the visit totaling more than $2 billion.
Putin will continue on to the United Arab Emirates Tuesday to meet powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan and Emirati businessmen.
Attacks in mid-September claimed by Yemen’s Huthi rebels damaged a third of Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure and sent global energy prices soaring.
Washington, Riyadh, Berlin, London and Paris blamed Iran for the attacks, which Tehran — a partner of Moscow — has denied. -APP/AFP