Saudi king, Putin eye energy, arms deals on landmark Russian Federation visit

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The deal between OPEC, led by Saudi Arabia, and several non-OPEC countries including Russian Federation, to curb supply has helped stabilize markets but has yet to boost prices enough to ease the pain for oil-dependent economies.

Saudi Arabia said it had signed a memorandum of understanding on the purchase from Russian Federation of S-400 air defense systems.

Saudi King Salman is in Russian Federation on a state visit, the first to Moscow by a reigning Saudi monarch.

A frame grab taken from footage released by Russia's Defence Ministry November 26, 2015, shows a Russian S-400 defense missile system deployed at Hmeymim airbase in Syria. Saudi Arabia had previously been opposed to the plan because it involves Iran.

Navalny, a vocal critic of President Vladimir Putin, was jailed for 20 days on Monday for repeatedly violating laws governing the organization of public meetings and rallies.

The move by OPEC and non-OPEC producers to balance the market is working, but the work is not yet finished, Saudi Arabia's oil minister said from Moscow.

"We are committed to continuing positive cooperation between our nations to achieve stability on the global oil markets", King Salman was reported as saying by Russian state news agency Tass.

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The Saudi monarch's decision to visit Russian Federation, now of all times, marks a new shift in Riyadh's foreign policy, Vyacheslav Smirnov, director of the Scientific and Research Institute for Political Sociology, told Radio Sputnik.

The two countries also signed a series of multi-billion dollar investment deals including one to create a US$1 billion (S$1.3 billion) fund to pursue energy projects.

Gazprom Neft has signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with Saudi Aramco, the national oil company of Saudi Arabia, to extend their partnership in oil and gas industry.

Saudi Arabia does most of its trading with the United States but may be looking to diversify that.

"Last time I checked, foreign ministers and leaders from other parts of the world are allowed to get on airplanes and go meet with their counterparts in other countries". They have become hostage to the domestic political situation in the U.S. Certain forces are using Russian-American relations to address internal political issues. It's called diplomacy. We do a lot of that, they do a lot of that.

Saudi Arabia's turn to Russian Federation comes after Turkey, a longtime backer of Syrian rebels, changed course and pooled efforts with Russian Federation and Iran to help broker de-escalation zones in Syria that helped reduce violence.

Saudi Aramco is the national oil company of Saudi Arabia, 100-percent controlled by the Government of Saudi Arabia.

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