Wednesday, 18 October, 2017

Putin: I Have No Personal Ties To Trump

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that some construction work on the venues for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in the country remains behind schedule Putin: I Have No Personal Ties To Trump
Damon Campbell | 07 October, 2017, 00:35

The agreement was announced on Thursday as Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted King Salman - the first sitting Saudi monarch to visit Russia - for talks at the Kremlin.

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.

The King, who arrives in Moscow on October 5, will have several investment deals on his plate, including on a liquefied natural gas project and petrochemical plants, and could also sign plans for a $1-billion fund to invest in energy projects.

During his four-day trip, the king and Putin are expected to discuss the global oil market and the situation in the Middle East. Needless to say that as soon as this partnership is activated economically, commercially, and militarily Moscow will have to balance its complicated relationship with Iran.

The first thing that comes to mind when discussing the relations between the two countries is the Syrian issue.

Saudi Arabia signed preliminary agreements to buy Russia's S-400 air defence systems and anti-tank guided missile systems and receive "cutting edge technologies", said the Sunni state's military firm, Saudi Arabian Military Industries.

Putin said the agreement to cut oil production a year ago between OPEC and non-OPEC countries could be extended beyond March 2018 but an announcement was unlikely before the next OPEC meeting in Vienna at the end of November.

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She also expressed her gratitude to the Saudi foreign minister for his cooperation with Moscow, especially with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.

During an energy forum in Moscow attended by several OPEC oil ministers, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday: "Everyone is interested in a stable market". This leaves Moscow aligned with Saudi Arabia's arch-rival Iran, whose influence Riyadh fears is growing in the region.

Moscow attempts to "harmonize and approximate the differences among many factors and players;" so, "more and more Russian Federation is being trusted more than America", he noted.

King Salman called Russian Federation a "friendly nation" and said his four-day visit would boost growing ties between the world's two largest oil exporters. In 2015 the countries' sovereign wealth funds agreed to $10 billion in investments.

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.

But Russian military success on the ground in Syria has resulted in Saudi Arabia pressuring opposition groups to hold peace talks with Damascus.

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