Saudi king takes 1500 entourage, golden escalator, food, furniture on Russian Federation trip

Arnold Nichols
October 7, 2017

But relations have been improving between the two nations with an energy pact forged past year when 24-oil exporting countries, including Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation - the two largest oil exporting nations - agreed to cut output to halt the downward drift of the oil price.

"This partnership between Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia has catalyzed cooperation of an unprecedented coalition of 24 countries (OPEC and non-OPEC)".

King Salman, on his part, said he was happy to visit Russian Federation and expressed his willingness in strengthening relations in matters of peace and security and his interest in the development of the global economy.

Saudi Arabian King Salman bin Abdul Aziz harshly criticised Iran on his first visit to Russian Federation, which has close relations with the Islamic republic.

He added that Russian Federation respects press freedom and treats foreign media equally.

During a meeting in Russia, Maduro said that he had arrived in Moscow at a great moment for political ties with Russia.

Saudi Arabia is now investing over $1 billion in over 20 Russian projects including the construction of a petrochemical complex and Pulkovo Airport in St Petersburg, Russian Energy Minister and co-chairman of the Russian-Saudi Intergovernmental Commission Alexander Novak said.

"Russia's energy balance is one of the cleanest among the world's largest economies", the president said while addressing a plenary session of the Russian Energy Week (REW), which kicked off in Moscow on October 3.

The PIF and RDIF also agreed to establish another 1-billion-dollar high technology investment fund, it said.

Saudi-U.S. ties were strained under the Obama administration over its backing of a nuclear agreement with Iran and its handling of the Syrian conflict.

Saudi wants to be not just a buyer of military equipment but also a manufacturing and servicing partner.

Prince Mohammed's visit was reflected in the country's success to overcome the Syrian crisis.

King Salman's visit to Russian Federation is a historic moment that will drive both countries closer and the relations will enter a new phase of further understanding and deeper cooperation. But on Syria, the two countries remain divided with Washington's focus on fighting ISIS the Islamic State group, not on ousting Assad.

"It's clear that Russian Federation has been able to play a weak hand very well and step into vacuums everywhere where the USA has retreated", she said.

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