RIYADH – Russian president Vladimir Putin signed a key deal Monday with Saudi Arabia during a key visit for an OPEC+ grouping (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries plus 10 non-members of the cartel) aimed at stabilizing global oil prices and seeking to calm regional tensions with Iran.
Putin’s visit follows attacks on Saudi oil installations that Saudi Arabia and the United States have blamed on Iran, an ally of Moscow.
Following talks between Putin and Saudi King Salman, the two countries signed some 20 agreements and contracts worth billions of dollars on aerospace, culture, health, advanced technology and agriculture.
Key among the deals was the agreement to bolster cooperation among the so-called OPEC+ countries.
Moscow is not a member of OPEC, but it has worked closely with the group to limit supply and push up prices after a 2014 slump that wreaked havoc on the economies of Russia and cartel heavyweight Saudi Arabia.
Monday’s deal seeks to “reinforce cooperation…and strengthen oil market stability,” Saudi Energy minister prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said at the signing ceremony.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov told reporters that Putin and Saudi officials also discussed “military and technical cooperation”.
In October 2017, Russia and Saudi Arabia signed a memorandum of understanding paving the way for Riyadh’s purchase of Moscow’s powerful S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems.
The sale never materialized, however, as Saudi Arabia eventually opted to purchase a US system. (AFP)