Putin arrives in Middle East to talk oil with Saudi crown prince

Russian President Vladimir Putin will travel to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday to meet Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a rare trip abroad to discuss oil production, OPEC+ and the wars in the Gaza Strip and Ukraine.

Publication: 06.12.2023 - 14:56
Putin arrives in Middle East to talk oil with Saudi crown prince
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Putin's meeting with the prince, known as MbS, comes after oil prices fell despite a pledge by OPEC+, which groups the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies led by Russia, to further cut output.

Putin arrived in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday for talks President Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi. He is due to then travel to Saudi Arabia for his first face-to-face meeting with MbS since October 2019.

The Kremlin said they would discuss energy cooperation, including as part of OPEC+, whose members pump more than 40% of the world's oil.

"Close Russian-Saudi coordination in this format is a reliable guarantee of maintaining a stable and predictable situation in the global oil market," the Kremlin said.

The Kremlin's chief's last visit to the region was in July 2022, when he met Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Iran.

It was not immediately clear what Putin, who has rarely left Russia since the start of the Ukraine war, intends to discuss with the crown prince of the world's largest oil exporter, just days after disagreements delayed a key OPEC+ meeting.

They will also discuss the war between Israel and Hamas militants, the situation in Syria and Yemen, and broader issues like ensuring stability in the Gulf, the Kremlin said. A Kremlin aide said Ukraine would also be discussed.

Putin will host Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Moscow on Thursday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

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