Saudi King Salman arrives in Russian Federation for first visit

Jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has called on supporters to hold rallies against Vladimir Putin's rule as the Russian president marks his 65th birthday

Saudi King Salman may seek assurances from Moscow that Iran will not have a permanent role in Syria.

On defense, Saudi Arabia said it had signed a memorandum of understanding on the purchase of S-400 air defense systems from Russia's state arms exporter.

Addressing a plenary session of the Russian Energy Week, which kicked off in Moscow on October 3, he said the two countries share fundamental interests, including energy policies, fighting cybercrime, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, anti-terrorism efforts and dealing with regional conflicts.

Despite regional disagreements, Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia found common ground on energy policy in November, when they worked together to secure a deal between OPEC and other oil producers to cut production in an effort to drive up oil prices. King Salman paid back the compliments by saying Russian Federation was a "friendly country". The agreement was due to expire in March 2018.

The Saudi courtship of Russian Federation reflects a convergence of interests between the nations, both of which want to spur a recovery in crude prices. The two nations - joint architects of the supply agreement between the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers that has boosted prices - are looking at ways to extend and deepen their relationship.

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Saudi Arabia has signed preliminary agreements to buy S-400 air defence systems from Russian Federation, officials said, on the sidelines of King Salman's "landmark" visit to Moscow.

Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia on Thursday also announced major investments and joint ventures to further cement relations, with Putin and Salman signing deals from arms sales to cooperation in space.

He also said the two agreed on the importance of fighting terror and of finding peaceful solutions to conflicts in the Middle East.

Moreover, he underlined the importance of maintaining the territorial integrity of Iraq, in a clear allusion to Iraqi Kurdistan, which on September 25 held an independence referendum.

Beyond short-term market drivers, analysts at Barclays said future oil demand could be undermined by improving fuel-efficiency and the rise of electric vehicles (EV). Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin told reporters of Saudi Arabia's interest in buying S-400s which has not been formalized yet.

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