On June 7, the Russian president and the Saudi leader spoke by telephone and reiterated their desire for cooperation. A call that takes place even as Antony Blinken is visiting Riyadh.
“Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prince Mohammed bin Salman had a telephone conversation […] Both sides praised the level of cooperation within Opec+, which enabled quick and efficient decisions to be made to maintain the balance between oil supply and demand. The parties noted the importance of the agreements relating to this issue, reached during the recent visit of the Minister [russe de l’Intérieur] in Riyadh,” the Kremlin press service said on June 7.
This announcement comes at the very time of Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to Riyadh, which takes place from June 6 to 8.
Vladimir Putin and Mohammed bin Salman discussed the increase in the volume of their trade and their economic ties, expressing the wish to set up “joint projects in the fields of investment, logistics transport and energy”, specifies Kremlin statement. They also expressed the wish to strengthen Russian-Saudi cooperation within various multilateral organizations and at different levels.
Washington and Riyadh are currently engaged together to negotiate a return to peace in Sudan. Nevertheless, Riyadh seems to be showing more and more independence from the United States, of which it has been an unconditional ally for several decades. Evidenced by its neutrality vis-à-vis the war in Ukraine, its normalization with Iran – not supported by the United States – and its decision to reduce its oil production in agreement with the OPEC countries, then that Washington considered this choice “inopportune” given the inflation and the rise in interest rates in consumer countries.
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