Quantcast
Connect with us

Oil, Iran top agenda as Putin visits Saudi Arabia

Published

on

Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit Saudi Arabia on Monday, where he is set to seal oil agreements as well as use his influence to defuse rising tensions in the Gulf.

The meeting with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman comes following attacks on Saudi oil installations that Riyadh and the US have blamed on Iran, an ally of Moscow.

Oil will be “the main topic of discussion” between the leaders, Russian political analyst Fydor Lukyanov said, as a deal between the 24 members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is due to expire next spring.

ADVERTISEMENT

Russia is not a member of OPEC, headed by Saudi Arabia, but it has worked closely with the group to limit supply and push up prices after a 2014 slump that badly hit the Russian economy.

Moscow and Riyadh — a traditional ally of Washington — have made a striking rapprochement in recent years, marked in particular by King Salman’s first visit to Russia in October 2017.

A year later, when Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was under fire after the assassination of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey, Vladimir Putin went out of his way to shake his hand at a G20 summit, to much comment.

In an interview with Arabic-language television channels ahead of his visit, Putin praised his good relations with the King and Crown Prince.

“We will absolutely work with Saudi Arabia and our other partners and friends in the Arab world… to reduce to zero any attempt to destabilize the oil market,” he said in the interview broadcast Sunday.

ADVERTISEMENT

– ‘Role of peacemaker’ –

Analyst Lukyanov said that Moscow — with its older ties to Iran as new links with Saudi — could “play the role of peacemaker” as tensions between Tehran and Riyadh continue to rise.

These tensions spiked last month after the attacks on Saudi oil facilities that initially halved the kingdom’s crude output and set oil markets alight.

ADVERTISEMENT

Yemen’s Huthi rebels claimed responsibility, but US officials blamed Iran and said the rebels did not have the range or sophistication to target the facilities.

PLANET LABS INC./AFP / HO Saudi Arabia has blamed Iran for the attack on its oil facility at Abqaig last month, an accusation Tehran has rejected

Tehran has denied involvement and warned of “total war” in the event of any attack on its territory.

ADVERTISEMENT

Russia attempted to keep a foot in both camps — proposing missiles to Riyadh to defend itself, while at the same time warning against “hasty conclusions” regarding Iranian involvement.

Last week an Iranian tanker was hit by suspected missile strikes off the coast of Saudi Arabia, sparking fresh conflict fears.

“As far as Russia is concerned, we will do everything possible to create the necessary conditions for a positive dynamic” aimed at easing tensions, Putin said in the interview broadcast Sunday.

ADVERTISEMENT

– Syria –

Kremlin adviser Yuri Ushakov said the Syria conflict would also feature in the leaders’ talks on Monday.

Russia and Iran are allied with the regime of Bashar al-Assad, while the Saudis support the opposition.

But “it is important for Russia that an Arab country participates in the political settlement in Syria,” said Lukyanov.

ADVERTISEMENT

So far “only three non-Arab countries” — Turkey, Russia and Iran — are hosting talks, he said.

In terms of business, the visit is expected to result in around 30 agreements and contracts, according to Ushakov.

Around a dozen of these — in the advanced technology sectors, energy and infrastructure — will be signed by the Russian Sovereign Fund and are worth around $2 billion.

In October 2017, Russia and Saudi Arabia also signed a memorandum of understanding paving the way for Riyadh’s purchase of Moscow’s powerful S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems.

ADVERTISEMENT

The sale never materialized, however, as Saudi Arabia eventually opted to purchase a US system.

After Saudi Arabia, Vladimir Putin will travel to the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday to meet the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Viewers astonished as Fiona Hill rips apart the falsehoods spread by ‘bloody nitwit’ Devin Nunes on live TV

Published

on

Fiona Hill knocked down conspiracy theories about Ukraine spread by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) and other Republican lawmakers, and impeachment viewers were astonished by her thorough debunking.

The former National Security Council adviser testified that claims pinning blame on Ukraine for 2016 election interference absolves Russia and serves its president Vladimir Putin's interests, and undermines U.S. national security.

“The impact of the successful 2016 Russian campaign remains evident today,” Hill testified in her opening statement. “Our nation is being torn apart. Truth is questioned. Our highly professional and expert career Foreign Service is being undermined.”

Continue Reading

Facebook

David Holmes details Giuliani’s mission to get Marie Yovanovitch fired: ‘Unlike anything I have seen in my professional career’

Published

on

During his opening statement before giving testimony at the House impeachment hearings this Thursday, National Security Council expert on Russia, and David Holmes, went into detail about former Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yuriy Lutsenko, who has become a key figure in the Ukraine scandal enveloping the White House. Lutsenko allegedly urged Rudy Giuliani’s associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman to fire Marie Yovanovitch from her position as ambassador to Ukraine.

Giuliani saw Yovanovitch as a hindrance to having the Ukrainian government investigate Hunter and Joe Biden’s ties to a corrupt company Burisma Holdings. In his statement, Holmes detailed Giuliani's dealings in gunning up a Ukrainian investigation against the Bidens.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Gordon Sondland revealed something huge that hardly anyone noticed: CNN commentator

Published

on

During his testimony Wednesday, EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland told the world that the "quid pro quo" is exactly what President Donald Trump intended. Further, he told Americans that everyone was "in the loop" on the bribery effort to get Ukraine to open an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his family. It was only once that promise was made and the whistleblower came forward that the Ukraine military assistance was released to Ukraine.

While those revelations dominated the news, CNN's Chris Cillizza wrote that there was one key piece of evidence that seemed to go unnoticed.

Continue Reading
 
 

Happy Holidays!

As a special thank you from all of us at Raw, we're offering Raw Story ad-free for 15% off - just $2 per week. Now 'til Dec. 31st.
Offer Expires In:
close-link