When he arrives in Moscow today, King Salman will become the first reigning Saudi monarch to visit Russia. Being the
When he arrives in Moscow today, King Salman will become the first reigning Saudi monarch to visit Russia.
Being the largest oil producers on the planet, both countries depend on the flow of petrodollars to keep their economies afloat. Moscow and Riyadh are interested in stabilising oil prices, with last year’s deal between Saudi-led OPEC and Russia to cut worldwide oil production being a prime example of this.
Given the shared interests in the energy arena, economic cooperation is set to further intensify; the two countries recently signed a $1 billion energy project investment fund and an Arctic liquid natural gas project.
While economic ties are expanding, the Syrian theatre sets a limit to political rapprochement, as two countries’ interests in the conflict are fundamentally opposed. Moscow’s cooperation with Iran to keep Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad in power is viewed with great suspicion by Saudi Arabia.
It is reasonable to assume that the two sides will intensify their collaboration on energy and business matters; Russia is likely to advocate for maintaining oil production cuts ahead of an OPEC meeting in November. Regardless, diverging regional interests will prevent cooperation from spilling over into the political arena.
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