Saudi king makes historic visit to Russian Federation

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During the four-day visit, the king is scheduled to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin for talks on issues ranging from oil to Syria.

Saudi King Salman arrived in Moscow on Wednesday on the first ever visit by a Saudi monarch to Russian Federation.

Saudi Arabia is planning to invest in more than 25 agriculture, oil and gas projects in Russia, the Russian Industry and Trade Ministry's press service said in a statement.

Groundwork for the visit was laid by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, who is looking to exert his political authority and ensure a smooth transition to power with successful foreign policy ventures, Leonid Issaev of Russia's National Research University Higher School of Economics writes for Al Jazeera.

"This historic visit will witness the signing of memoranda of understanding (MoUs) in several fields that are important to both countries", Falih said.

The minister is optimistic about the potential rebalancing of the oil market and added that prices would be determined by the market.

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Oil is back in a bull market, fuel stockpiles are shrinking and demand for OPEC's crude is likely to increase in 2018.

Russian state media said they wanted to boost "bilateral cooperation in trade, economic, investment, cultural and humanitarian areas".

Together they produce about a quarter of the world's oil and previous year clinched a deal created to eliminate a global supply glut, in part triggered by the rapid rise in American production.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih and other OPEC ministers have suggested prolonging the deal by months but not until the end of 2018.The participants are showing more confidence that the supply cuts, which began in January, are starting to erode a glut.

The King has landed at the Vnukovo Airport near the Russian capital. Top officials, energy ministers and leaders of sovereign wealth funds are due to attend. It has allocated 191 billion riyals ($51 billion), or 21% of its 2017 budget, to military spending.

At the same time, Riyadh, in common with Israel, will raise with Moscow its concern that these zones may guarantee a long-term presence for Iranian and Hezbollah troops inside Syria.

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