The Saudi King's 1000 Strong Delegation to Moscow - Russian TV Report

"Multi-billion dollar contracts are, of course, the direct result of Russia's success in Syria, both military and diplomatic.

In the Middle East, Russia has become a player to be reckoned with, even to those who for decades have been aligning with the West."

Mon, Oct 16, 2017
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Anchor:

Saudi Arabia will buy weapons from Russia and receive a license to manufacture Kalashnikov rifles.

This is just one of 15 agreements which were signed today as the final part of negotiations between Vladimir Putin and King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

Multi-billion dollar contracts are, of course, the direct result of Russia's success in Syria, both military and diplomatic.

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In the Middle East, Russia has become a player to be reckoned with, even to those who for decades have been aligning with the West.

Reporter:

The king of Saudi Arabia came to Russia for the first time, they call it historic. Here's his car pulling up at the Sobornaya Square He's greeted with all due honors.

The solemn setting emphasizes the political importance of the meeting. King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud is the incumbent head of the House of Saud.

Putin:

In 1926, more than 90 years ago, our country—back then it was the Soviet Union— was the first one to recognize the new kingdom, which was founded by your father—Abdulaziz bin Saud. And today we have the joy of receiving you here.

Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, King of Saudi Arabia:

"We are happy to be in a friendly country. We seek to strengthen our bilateral relationship to foster peace and safety, to foster the development of the world economy."

Reporter:

The part about the world economy is not an exaggeration. Russia and Saudi Arabia account for a quarter of the global oil production.

A year ago, Moscow and Riyadh have agreed to stabilize oil prices, but first—-to cut its production, which made the OPEC agreement possible.

Khalid Al-Falih, Saudi Arabian Minister of Energy:

"It improved our economies. It also gave us a good platform for building a new, mutually beneficial relationship between our countries."

How long with the agreement be in force?

Aleksander Novak, Russian Minister of Energy:

"It's possible to extend the deal, but the decision will depend on the situation at the time of its expiration."

Reporter:

The word "deal" is the key. Discussing all issues, both parties stay practical. It was a very insightful, to-the-point and trustful dialogue.

I'm sure that this visit will give us momentum that we need to strengthen the ties between our countries.

Our relationship is based on the similar views on a lot of the regional and world issues.

We continue to coordinate our efforts to improve the safety and well-being of our countries. Everybody understands how tricky these talks are.

Saudi Arabia is a traditional ally of the US with a fundamentally different stand on Syria and Iran's position in the region.

After the negotiations were over, the Foreign Ministers went into more detail.

Sergey Lavrov, Foreign Minister of Russia:

"We've introduced our colleagues to the approaches currently being discussed at the UN Security Council. We expect that these efforts will be supported by the Russia - Islamic World Strategic Vision Group, created by the Russian Federation and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation."

Reporter:

One of the most important topics is the military-technical cooperation.

Riyadh has already expressed interest in T-90 tanks, infantry combat vehicles and air defense systems. Today it culminated in a concrete agreement.

Saudi Arabia receives a license to manufacture Kalashnikov rifles—AK-103—and ammunition.

The two countries also join their efforts in space exploration, and the development of information technologies, as well as oil extraction and refinement.

Big plans have been made by Rosatom. The countries also ground the Energy Investment Fund worth one billion dollars.

The same budget is allocated to a new investment fund which is going to finance high-tech projects.

Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund:

"We are looking at collaboration not only in the energy sector, but also in agriculture, infrastructure, logistics, health care and many others.

For many Saudi Arabian businessmen, this first visit to Russia was very important.

They were even surprised that they've never talked to Russian companies before.

We can see that they are very excited."

Reporter:

Salman Al Saud came with the delegation of more than a thousand people. The first ones to appreciate this number were 5-star hotels around Kremlin.

One of them even had to close together with its shops and restaurants.

The most spacious suite, as reported by tabloids, which is more than 500 square meters, costs for 1 million rubles a day. It was taken by the king himself.

The rumor is that even the European decor was changed to look Eastern. Carpets and furniture were brought in advance, and pork has been taken off the menus.

Russian beef, however, was very much to the taste of the Saudi Arabians. From now in, it's going to be imported to Riyadh.

The fact that the leaders first met in the so-called Green Drawing Room and then signed all the documents in the green Malachite Room was probably appreciated by the delegation. After all, it's the color of Islam and Saudi Arabia's flag.

King Salman is officially titled the Custodian of Two Holy Mosques in Mecca and Medina.

Also present in the room were representatives of Russia's Muslim regions. Thousands of pilgrims start their hadj there every year. Saudi Arabia has even expanded the quota for them.

King Salman:

I'm happy to invite you to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to continue our consultations.

Putin:

Thank you very much, Your Majesty! Thank you for the invitation. I remember my last visit to your country, and I will definitely take up your invitation to visit Saudi Arabia again.

Reporter:

It was +9 °C and raining in Moscow. which probably didn't feel nice to the Saudi delegation after +37 °C in Riyadh. But it didn't affect the business schedule.

Tomorrow, King Salman is meeting Prime Minister Medvedev.

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