Putin accepts invitation to visit Saudi Arabia

Reuters

A number of deals were signed during the St. Petersburg meeting, the most important of which was an agreement allowing Russian investment in Saudi Arabia's ambitious nuclear energy plans. "I´m discussing." Venezuela´s oil minister, Eulogio del Pino, also said there were discussions on whether to cut further or extend the deal.

"In particular, we have welcomed the idea offered by the Saudis to create common research and development through cooperation between Saudi Aramco and Gazpromneft", said Novak.

Beyond short-term market drivers, analysts at Barclays bank said oil demand could be seriously dented by improving fuel-efficiency and the rise of electric vehicles (EV).

"At present, RDIF (Russian Direct Investment Fund) and PIF (Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia) have invested more than $1 billion in joint projects (in Russia)".

OPEC and some other non-member producers, including Russian Federation, have agreed to cut crude output which has helped prop up oil prices.

"We are awaiting the king's visit on Thursday", President Vladimir Putin's foreign policy aide, Yury Ushakov, was quoted by the state TASS news agency as saying.

"At the moment, RDIF and Saudi Arabia's Investment Fund have implemented projects worth over $1 billion".

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Later the Saudi monarch invited President Putin to Riyadh.

Putin was reacting to comments by Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov who said the 45,000-seat World Cup stadium in Samara, which has been plagued with delays over the past year, was the biggest issue.

As for the arms deal, Saudi Arabia is buying the S-400 air defense system, the Kornet anti-tank guided missile systems and multiple rocket launchers.

They also diverge on Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition has been bombing Huthi rebels since 2015, drawing criticism from Moscow.

"The Russians have gone out of their way to welcome the Saudi King, hoping to open a new page in relations with the wealthy kingdom", said Fawaz Gerges, professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics. "If we relax, we will not fully accomplish the work".

"The stakes are as high for Moscow as for Riyadh".

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