In Moscow, Saudi king slams Iran, signs billion dollar defense, energy deals

The 45,000-seat Samara Arena remains behind schedule

Last month, Turkey agreed to buy the S-400 defense system, which has further strained relations between Ankara and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

"I am sure that your visit will provide a good impulse for the development of relations between our two states", Putin told Salman later as they sat alongside each other in the Kremlin's lavishly-decorated Green Parlour.

While Saudi Arabia made no firm pledge yesterday to extend the deal between the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec), Russia and other producers on cutting supplies, it said it was "flexible" regarding Moscow's suggestion to prolong the pact until the end of next year.

A thaw between Moscow and Riyadh helped reach November's deal in which Opec and 10 other oil-producing countries, including Russian Federation, agreed to cut their production in a bid to combat a supply glut and shore up crude prices.

This is the first time a ruler of Saudi Arabia is visiting Russian Federation and the entourage have made themselves at home in two hotels booked for them. "Saudi Arabia cannot ride out the low oil price to the extent that many people thought it could", the analyst said on Thursday night.

"This partnership between Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia has catalyzed cooperation of an unprecedented coalition of 24 countries (OPEC and non-OPEC)".

Senate Intelligence Committee Interim Report: Russians Interfered in 2016 Elections
Facebook said Wednesday that it had accepted invitations from both committees. He warned that the media has only gotten "glimpses" into their investigation.

She also expressed her gratitude to the Saudi foreign minister for his cooperation with Moscow, especially with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov. The Russian leader praised Trump as someone with a strong character but said the relationship between Moscow and Washington has been complicated by a domestic political fight in America.

King Salman, on his part, said he was happy to visit Russian Federation and expressed his willingness in strengthening relations in matters of peace and security and his interest in the development of the global economy.

Riyadh and Moscow reached an inevitable result in their future relations that they would rather focus more on common interests available in promising fields rather than disagreeing on issues that affected them negatively.

The PIF and RDIF also agreed to establish another 1-billion-dollar high technology investment fund, it said. USA light crude was up 10 cents at $50.08.

But Russian military success on the ground in Syria has resulted in Saudi Arabia pressuring opposition groups to hold peace talks with Damascus. The visit of 100 business man is planned to make 25 agreements in different areas, while King Salman is expected to sign a $3.5 billion weapons purchase agreement.

"The ongoing change in Russia's energy balance will reduce domestic oil consumption, and the methods for coal use will become more environmentally friendly", Putin said.

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