Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

King Salman Visits Russia Thursday, $10 Billion in Joint Projects | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Faisal Al Nasser / Reuters

Riyadh- Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz will kick off next Thursday his official visit to Russia where he will discuss with President Vladimir Putin joint cooperation between the two countries in addition to regional and international issues, mainly the region’s crises.

Abdurrahman Al-Rasi, Saudi ambassador to Russia, told Asharq Al-Awsat on Monday that the visit of the Saudi King that came in response to an invitation from President Putin, would boost bilateral relations.

“We will see a qualitative leap of those relations in various domains of cooperation,” the ambassador said.

Al-Rasi described the visit as important in its content and timing for being King Salman’s first trip to Russia in the historic and long-term relations between both countries.

“The visit crowns the Saudi-Russian relations following the trips made by Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, deputy premier, minister of Defense and chairman of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs to Russia in the last two years,” he said.

The Saudi diplomat also said that the King’s visit would have a great impact, not only on boosting mutual relations between both countries, but on the situation in the entire region.

“This trip will surely help finding solutions to many crises in the region,” Al-Rasi said.

Meanwhile, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in an interview broadcast by Al Arabiya TV on Monday that Saudi Arabia and Russia plan to set up a $1 billion fund to invest in energy projects.

“Our focus is not just on strengthening our cooperation within the framework of the OPEC and non-OPEC (agreement) but also the strengthening of cooperation in oil, gas, electricity renewable energy and other projects for oil and gas equipment,” he told the television channel regarding the fund’s activities.

Novak said that the Saudi-Russian sides have already set $10 billion to fund joint projects in several other fields than the oil sector.