Russia & Saudi Arabia to talk oil & strike major deals during Putin’s upcoming visit
Moscow and Riyadh are not interested in high oil prices, the Kremlin’s spokesman told the press ahead of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to the kingdom in October.
“Together with Saudi Arabia, we are interested in ensuring that the price [of oil] does not rise above a reasonable level,” Dmitry Peskov said in an interview with Rossiya 24 on Tuesday, during the ongoing Russian Energy Week forum in Moscow.
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According to the international rating agency Fitch, the price of oil in the remaining months of 2019 is forecast to be $65 per barrel, which is a comfortable figure for many members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) from the Middle East. Saudi Arabia is OPEC’s largest producer and, along with Russia, the leader in the OPEC+ agreement.
At the end of Energy Week, Russian President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to visit the kingdom. During his historic stay, the two countries are to strike a number of business and investment agreements worth hundreds of millions of dollars, Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, told Arab News. Speaking on the sidelines of the energy summit, he said there would be new business deals in the oil industry, agriculture, tourism, and petrochemicals.
“We are going to be signing more than 10 new investment agreements between Russia and Saudi Arabia. One example is a joint investment with Saudi Aramco in Novomet, a Russian pumps manufacturer, one of the leaders of the industry, supplying pumps to Saudi Aramco,” he specified.
Dmitriev hinted at one “very exciting” new project that is to be announced during Putin’s visit, however, he declined to go into the details. He also said a big agreement in agriculture is being eyed up.
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“Saudi Arabia recently announced it was removing bans on Russian agricultural products, wheat specifically, and we will be signing a big agreement with the Saudi Agricultural Investment and Livestock Company (Salic) during the visit,” he stated, adding that the $2.7 billion investments recently made with Saudi partners are “already producing good returns.”
“Now we expect to begin investing in Saudi projects, in tourism, petrochemicals and other areas,” Dmitriev said.
The Russia Saudi Investment Fund, which was set up in 2017, has a total committed capital of $6 billion. It has invested in a range of infrastructure and energy projects, both in Russia and in Saudi Arabia.
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