Saudi King To Visit Russia: Bringing Relationship To New Phase

Authored by Alex Gorka via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

Much has been said about the much vaunted trip of US President Donald Trump to Saudi Arabia where he was lavished with extravagant royal pomp. The $110 billion arms deal was signed and the plans to create an Arab NATO set the agenda. The visit – the president’s first foreign trip - was described as a major step to boost the US clout in the Middle East but the days when the region was Washington’s exclusive sphere of influence are gone.

The Kingdom has launched an ambitious Vision 2030 program to start a new chapter in its history, turning itself from a US dependent oil exporter to a regional powerhouse with diversified economy, gradually opening the doors to the whole world. Investment flows are to come from different directions with money put into different baskets. Saudi Arabia is intensifying its diplomatic efforts to change its perception to start a new era. Russia is viewed as a partner in the far-reaching plans.

The blossoming relationship between Russia and Saudi Arabia signals yet another sea change in the ever-evolving global order. King Salman is to become the first Saudi monarch to visit Russia. The trip is expected this month with talks on the way to specify the date. The visit acquires special importance as the King has taken a decision not to attend the July 7-8 summit of the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.

On May 30, President Putin welcomed then Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Kremlin and both men said they would deepen cooperation in oil and work on narrowing their differences over Syria. The visit came on the heels of US President Donald Trump’s historic visit to Riyadh.

Prince Mohammed bin Salman was recently appointed to the position of Crown Prince and heir to King Salman of Saudi Arabia. This appointment bodes well for the Russia-Saudi relations. The crown prince has overseen the ties with Moscow and has visited Russia many times. Russian President Vladimir Putin has called him a «very reliable partner with whom you can reach agreements, and be certain that those agreements will be honored».

Russia and Saudi Arabia might launch joint projects in petrochemical industry, in the field of renewable energy and liquefied natural gas (LNG) technologies among others. The Russia-Saudi Arabia brokered and recently extended oil output cut agreement between OPEC and non-OPEC members has become the flagship symbol of cooperation.

On June 2, Russia's largest oil producer, Rosneft, and the Kingdom’s national oil company Aramco announced that they would look into joint investments in Saudi Arabia. The announcement was made after Rosneft head Igor Sechin and Saudi Aramco Chief Amin Nasser had held their first ever formal, scheduled meeting on May 30, going beyond brief encounters at international oil events.

The parties discussed possible ways of cooperating in Asia, including Indonesia and India, as well as in other markets. Cooperation in Asia between the world's two biggest oil exporters would be unprecedented. Saudi Arabia via its oil giant Aramco has openly stated to be interested in global gas investment opportunities, starting in Russia’s Siberian region.

Investments have all chances to be a true ram. Saudi Arabia would particularly consider the issue of participating in the Arctic LNG projects. Russia and Saudi Arabia give indications of a possible OPEC 2.0 scenario, with Russia becoming a member. This would confront the market with a renewed and stronger oil cartel.

Russian gas giant Lukoil has revealed that it will also consider marketing oil alongside Saudi Aramco. Another Russian oil company, Tatneft, has announced it is open for cooperation with Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia has confirmed it would evaluate the possibility of joining Russia's arctic liquid natural gas (LNG) project. Saudi Aramco has always been heavily involved in the gas sector, as it is already a very large gas producer. It is pursuing shale gas in the future, with first production expected around 2020-2021.There are prospects for OPEC - non-OPEC cooperation going beyond crude oil to integrate the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF). A new cartel would be powerful enough to stabilize the energy market and protect it from negative developments.

The parties do not agree on Syria and some other issues but the differences in political contacts are limited and do not affect the neutrality of Riyadh with respect to Crimea, the events in Ukraine and sanctions against Russia, which Saudi Arabia has never joined.

According to Dmitry Shugaev, the head of Federal service on military-technical cooperation (FSMTC), arms deals are being discussed. Russia's Rostec state corporation has been in talks with Saudi Arabia and on the T-90S third-generation main battle tanks deal. Riyadh wants to purchase Russia MiG-35 lightweight fighters. S-400 cutting edge air defense systems are also on the table.

No doubt, the Qatar crisis will be part of the agenda. Russia has not taken sides in the current dispute between Qatar and other Arab states and it has a recent history of cooperation with all sides of this conflict. As a result, Russia is well suited to act as a mediator and a communications channel between Riyadh and those who support Doha – such influential actors as Iran and Turkey.

Evidently, Saudi Arabia wants to introduce adjustments to its policy of one-sided focus on the United States. Russia has improved its strategic stance in the region significantly in recent years. The King’s visit will be a "turning point" in relations between the two countries. Riyadh’s desire to boost the relations with Moscow can be seen as a shift to affect the political dynamics of the Middle East and even global politics.


kareninca Mon, 07/10/2017 - 02:27 Permalink

This is funny.  About five months ago I went to a "Great Decisions" lecture.  A guy who had "written the book" on Middle Eastern foreign policy gave us haus fraus a lecture on U.S. relations with the Saudis.  To his vast credit, he was pushing for us to cut the cord with them because they are vile and we don't need them anymore.  I asked him, being a bit snarky, "Isn't there the worry that if we aren't good to the Saudis, that they will turn to the Russians?"  He stared at me.  Then he assured me that the Saudis would never, ever, ever have anything in common with or anything to do with the Russians.  Remind me why we have experts?????  

Blankone kareninca Mon, 07/10/2017 - 09:47 Permalink

A politician, representative, official leader makes a diplomatic visit to a country and talks a bunch, eats a bunch and has a bunch of photo's taken - and suddenly people claim the world and the relationships between the countries has suddenly changed.

If the lecturer who listened to was correct then we would not care if the Saudis turned to the russians. By his own comment that the US did not need them anymore.

The lecturer also did not say that the Saudis would never talk to or allow diplomatic visits with the russians. Is every such visit by a diplomat a sign a country has turned or changed directions and are now in their pocket?

Or can this then be turned the other way? Is Putin now in the Saudis back pocket? Putin just gave away SW Syria to Israel and to US and Jordanian armed forces. As per the agreement forced upon Syria by Putin, armed forces of the US and Jordan will OFFICIALLY move into Syria - in a legitimate and legal manner - thus destroying Syria's claims of sovereignty violation by those armies. Is it not Putin who has been turned? Poor Assad should have foreseen this.

In reply to by kareninca

Fireman Mon, 07/10/2017 - 02:41 Permalink

The long overdue sound of the I$I$ backed IOU petroscrip Saudi Mercan toilet paper dollah getting flushed. How long before the toxic Wall St sewer implodes and brings down the Potemkin Village (idiot) "economy" of global Pentacon slaughter for the profit of the zero 1%?

sinbad2 Mon, 07/10/2017 - 02:41 Permalink

Some years back Saudi Prince Bandar Bush visited President Putin and threatened terror attacks against the Sochi Olympics, if Russia did not drop its support for Syria. Shortly after Prince Bandar Bush was almost killed in an assassination attempt, he has not been seen since.I hope the Saudis have learned not to threaten Russia.

BritBob Mon, 07/10/2017 - 03:44 Permalink

Russia is a member of the UN C24 decolonisation committee and supports Argentina's mythical Malvinas' claim. So much for the human and democratic rights of the Falkland Islanders and so much for that so-called sovereignty claim: Falklands – 1833 Usurpation & UN Resolutions: C24 is made up of member states that are classified as 'not free' or 'partially free' their rhetoric even goes against the principles of the UNGA. Rusia, Cuba, Iran, Syria, China, Venezuela...

Fake Trump Mon, 07/10/2017 - 03:58 Permalink

A matter of importance in the mind of King Salman. He visited China and now going to Russia. Why didn't he go to  America? Trump had to go Saudi to meet him. Which country is more important to King Salman?  Figure that out.

OldFahrtyPants Mon, 07/10/2017 - 04:48 Permalink

All very well the new kings of Saudi licking Russian arse, but we own the security codes on the Tornadoes.One PIN number from us and their fighters drop from the sky. The Saudis are really stupid.

Maestro Maestro Mon, 07/10/2017 - 04:55 Permalink

Putin is a real piece of shit.

The Saudis are arming and paying the salaries of the ISIS mercenaries who are killing Putin's allies the Syrians, the Iranians and the Hezbollah.

The Saudis are the main source of terrorism along with the Americans and the Israelis.

And Putin is their friend, not their enemy. Putin does business with the Saudis and allows the Americans and the Israelis to bomb and kill the Syrians with impunity.

Putin aids and abets the enemies of the human race by propping up the petrodollar for the Russians continue to sell oil in dollars and euros.

The Russian central bank is controlled by the City of London (the Rothschilds) and the Russians cannot even print their own currency, the Rouble, without first adding dollars to their reserves.

Russia is an IMF member just like China and is thus prohibited from using gold as money, and has a fiat-printing central bank just like the US and Europe do.


Jack Oliver Maestro Maestro Mon, 07/10/2017 - 05:28 Permalink

Russia is intelligent enough to know that you can't FUCKING bomb countries into submission !!  Countries 'allied' with the Zionist/US - simply have NO future - and they know it !! "Well played - Vlad !!You 'cut and paste' the same DRIBBLE - every week !! Are you aware of that ??? Russia and China will soon 'nationalise' their banks - there really is nothing the Rothschild's can do about it !!! 

In reply to by Maestro Maestro

Maestro Maestro Jack Oliver Mon, 07/10/2017 - 11:32 Permalink

Because the truth doesn't change and what I propound is the truth, in other words, REALITY.  Reality NEVER changes.  (That you can never step in the same river twice is the unchanging reality.) So you say China and Russia will soon n'ationailze' their banks.  Why isn't that already case?  And since you admit that their banks are not truly national entities, then that means current Chinese and Russian governments are made up of TRAITORS like Putin, which I agree with. "...soon 'nationalize'..." NEVER.  The Russian and Chinese govenments are owned and controlled by the same bankers who own and control the US central bank, The Federal Reserve: Putin=Trump  

In reply to by Jack Oliver

Maestro Maestro Wild E Coyote Mon, 07/10/2017 - 11:29 Permalink

You're lying because Putin is not engaging in diplomacy but actually collaborating with the Americans, the Saudis and the Israelis.  No normal person could even admit that the Saudi rulers are legitimate human beings.  Selling out your country to the Rothschilds and western bankers is treason, not diplomacy. And you are a piece of shit CIA agent.  

In reply to by Wild E Coyote

Horse Pizzle (not verified) Mon, 07/10/2017 - 05:29 Permalink

Saudis have a budget deficit of $28 billion, reserves of $500 billion, and a welfare population of 30 million growing exponentially.

IranContra Mon, 07/10/2017 - 11:19 Permalink

Hey, Tylertollahs, this is bad news for Iran. Trump said it is time to work with Russia, and Saudis are working with Russia. Iran and you, Iran spies, will soon be toast.

Fartboxbuffet (not verified) Mon, 07/10/2017 - 13:42 Permalink

Upon some research putins mom was a jew hmmmmm now thats some tidilating tiddleiwinks connecté dots from there

. . . _ _ _ . . . Mon, 07/10/2017 - 18:46 Permalink

Deputy Crown Prince and Defence Minister of Saudi Arabia Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud:"The main point is that we are building a solid foundation for stabilising the oil market and energy prices and this is creating good opportunities for building our strategic future."Goodbye Petro$. PS. Why use a picture from 2015?