Saudi Monarch, King Salman has landed in Moscow about four months ago and it was the first time ever a Saudi Crown Prince has made the trip to Russia, making it a historic event not just for the Kingdom but for Russia as well.
— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) October 8, 2017
From the Red Carpets to the Billboards around the capital, everyone saw the messages in Arabic and Russian, Russia did its best to prolong the cordial relationship between the two oil giants.
Global power structures are likely to shift considering the fact that this visit may have marked the dawn of a new era for the bilateral ties between the two countries.
Lifes hard whe you have to walk…..Inside Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz’ 1,500-person entourage in Moscow https://t.co/TIqkhdjh6P
— Sloan (@Sloan_Arcadia) December 30, 2017
South China Morning Post Twitter reference
Multi-Billion Dollar Energy Deals
The four-day trip was of great significance for both countries, in terms of economic structures as well as the political environment in the region. Several multi-Billion dollar deals were signed between the two countries which bode well for the involved parties.
The Saudi Monarch and President Vladimir Putin also signed several contracts in the energy sector which marked the start of multi-billion dollar deals between the countries who’ve had a constrained relation in the past decades.
— Jamestown Foundation (@JamestownTweets) October 27, 2017
The Global Oil Market
This latest development around the joint investment fund in the energy department will foster collaborative relationships between the countries. There will be investments in petrochemical plants, natural gas projects, R&D, exchange programs for employees of the energy sector and drilling technologies.
The recently signed deal in November between OPEC and non-OPEC states (triggered by ties between Riyadh and Moscow) to cut short the production has helped recover the oil prices which were declining since mid-2014. Major players in the oil sector, Aramco of Saudi Arabia and Russia’s Gazprom Neft have agreed to collaborate on various fronts to help strengthen the position of both the countries in the global oil market.
— The Times Headline (@TimesHeadline1) October 22, 2017
Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) has declared that it will be purchasing multiple rocket-launchers, sophisticated missile systems, S-400 air defense system and various other arms deals are also on the table in a bid to strengthen the Saudi defense industry.
While it is unclear as to how much the deal was worth, but the Saudi state-owned department has made clear that multiple state-of-the-art technologies are being purchased to enhance the Kingdom’s defense.
“These agreements are expected to have tangible economic contributions and create hundreds of direct jobs, and the deal will also transfer cutting-edge technologies that will act as a catalyst for localizing 50 percent of the Kingdom’s military spending”, said the statement issued by SAMI.
— Jürgen F. Wacker (@Rosamexican01) October 10, 2017
Following decades of a stressed relationship, Saudi Arabia has finally decided to team-up with Moscow in an unexpected twist of events. It’s not just the crown prince who has traveled to the Russian Federation, but a major delegation which includes 85 CEO’s of major Saudi companies and 200 other representatives have set foot on the Russian mainland to bolster the ties between the two nations.
Information Technology (IT), Agriculture, and Nuclear Energy are the other key areas which are next on the list of bilateral ties expansion. The respective representatives have agreed to cooperate on the said areas. Aleksandr Novak, the Minister for Energy has termed nuclear energy as the catalyst for innovations in other important sectors for Saudi Arabia.
Gargash: Success of King Salman's visit to Moscow is an Arab success, KSA's role for joint benefit & +ve action limits neighboring influence pic.twitter.com/JWkdM7eWcz
— Forsan News EN (@Fnews_english) October 7, 2017
The Middle East?
This trip, being the first high-profile visit of a Saudi delegation to Russia, holds a lot of significance in terms of the Middle East crisis. With America holding back a bit, Putin seems to have beefed up the efforts to gain more control over the region following his recent policies with Turkey, Iran, and now Saudi Arabia.
More and more Gulf leaders have made trips to Mosco in recent times which is evident of the developing alliance between Saudi Arabia and Russia. The United States, however, is likely to remain the closest western ally for the Kingdom, being its leading weapons’ supplier. Russia’s ties with the Shia-dominated Iran are not expected to be disturbed, which remains a bit of a question mark in the heads of Saudis and worldwide political followers of Middle East.
Iran and Saudi Arabia have never been on the same page in the Middle East, whether its Yemen or the Syrian crisis. Moscow’s close alliance with Tehran will be tested after this momentous tour by the Saudi Kind to the Federation.
As expected, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques openly thrashed Iran for the continued interference in the Middle East, asking Tehran to stop meddling in the war-torn region.
“We emphasize that the security and stability of the Gulf region and the Middle East is an urgent necessity for achieving stability and security in Yemen. This would demand that Iran give up interference with the internal affairs of the region, to give up actions destabilizing the situation in this region”, he asserted.
— سلطان السعد القحطاني (@SultanQhtani) January 26, 2018
The delegation visiting Russia also presented the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, which revolves around the efforts to help Saudi Arabia cut short its reliance on the oil as a main source of income. One of the main purposes of the delegation’s visit to the oil superpower Russia was to meet the objectives under the umbrella of the Vision 2030.
Therefore, it was no surprise that multi-billion dollar deals were being signed in different sectors. While oil sector is also in the focus, the main goal of the visit is to enhance the dependence of Saudi’s economy on sectors other than oil.
Recent developments surrounding this story include the following:
MOSCOW – The Kremlin says President Vladimir Putin has spoken to Saudi King Salman and denounced this week's… https://t.co/zz78CxMvmO
— ReportersLab (@TheReportersLab) December 21, 2017
— TRT World Research Centre (@TRTWorldRC) November 8, 2017