Russian and Saudi trade ministries sign memorandum of understanding

06 October, 2017, 00:39 | Author: Ora Austin
  • Russian and Saudi trade ministries sign memorandum of understanding

Al-Falih and other Aramco officials are now accompanying Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz on a historic visit to Russian Federation as part of efforts to deepen ties between the world's two biggest oil producers.

Following the talks, Saudi Arabian Military Industries (Sami) said it signed agreements with Russia's state arms trader, Rosoboronexport, for the purchase of cutting-edge Russian weapons, including the long-range S-400 air defence missile systems.

Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted Saudi Arabia's King Salman for talks at the Kremlin on Thursday, cementing a relationship that is crucial for determining world oil prices and could be pivotal for resolving conflicts in the Middle East. "Saudi Arabia's position is among the worst of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries", he added.

The Aramco IPO, which could raise $100 billion, is a centrepiece of Vision 2030, an ambitious reform plan to diversify the Saudi economy beyond oil which is being championed by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

The S-400 is Russia's most advanced long-range anti-aircraft missile system and can carry three types of warheads created to destroy targets including ballistic and cruise missiles. This leaves Moscow aligned with Saudi Arabia's arch-rival Iran, whose influence Riyadh fears is growing in the region. Signatories to the document were Alexander Dyukov, CEO of Gazprom Neft, and Amin H. Nasser, President and CEO, Saudi Aramco.

On his journey into central Moscow from Vnukovo airport late on Wednesday, King Salman's limousine passed billboards bearing his photograph and messages in Russian and Arabic welcoming him.

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Tass reported that Moscow is hoping Saudi Arabia investment in Russian Federation will surpass $1 billion after the visit.

The countries also moved to deepen ties in the energy sector, with Russian firm Sibur agreeing to joint oil-refining projects with Saudi Aramco.

West Texas Intermediate for November delivery rose 21 cents to $50.19 a barrel as of 10:13 a.m. London time. "Do you feel that USA allies are sort of moving away from the United States of America and going elsewhere, maybe forming new alliances?" a journalist asked.

Experts believe, however, that the alliance between Moscow and Riyadh may change the current situation on the world oil market.

On the trip's program is an announced business forum which will see speeches by state-owned energy giants Saudi Aramco and Russia's Gazprom. If the Saudis make direct investments in Russian assets, this will undoubtedly show influence on the entire oil market.

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