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Putin heads to Saudi Arabia to discuss oil prices

Putin heads to Saudi Arabia to discuss oil prices

Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit Saudi Arabia today, where he is set to seal oil agreements as well as use his influence to defuse rising tensions in the Gulf. The talks’ agenda includes coordination of actions to stabilize oil prices, the situ


Putin arrives in Saudi Arabia todau, his second visit to the country after his 2007 trip. Just days earlier, Riyadh ignored his proposal to buy Russian air defense systems, and even more recently, approved the United States’ deployment of about 3,000 troops on its territory, an air expeditionary wing and air-defense personnel.

"Issues of further coordination of joint activities for purposes of stabilization on the global hydrocarbon market will be highlighted during negotiations," the official said.

According to statement, oil will be "the main topic of discussion" between the leaders, as a deal between the 24 members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is due to expire next spring. 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.

Putin’s visit coincides with a Pentagon announcement that it is dispatching 3000 additional troops and two squadrons of fighter jets to the Gulf kingdom in an effort, U.S. officials say, to deter Iranian aggression following the drone and Cruise missile attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities last month.

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.

According to the presidential aide, about 30 documents will be signed following the visit of the Russian leader, including both interdepartmental and commercial agreements.

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