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Moscow and Riyadh launch new mechanisms for cooperation

Saudi King Salman's historic four-day trip to Moscow, where he met Russian President Vladimir Putin for talks, came to an end on Saturday.

Photos show Putin personally pour a cup of tea for his royal guest at the Kremlin Palace.

This is the first time a ruler of Saudi Arabia is visiting Russian Federation and the entourage have made themselves at home in two hotels booked for them.

The Saudi king's visit to Moscow will contribute to the development of bilateral ties, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday.

The deal was reportedly reached on the sidelines of the visit by Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to Moscow.

As for the arms deal, Saudi Arabia is buying the S-400 air defense system, the Kornet anti-tank guided missile systems and multiple rocket launchers.

Saudi Arabia is at war with Iranian-allied rebel fighters in Yemen and is embroiled in a diplomatic standoff with Qatar, which has found support from Tehran.

"We are certain that the further strengthening of Russian-Saudi relations will have a positive impact on strengthening stability and security in the region and the world".

"The Saudis want help on Iran, and Russia wants trade and investment", said Mark N. Katz, a Russia-Middle East relations analyst at George Mason University.

"I'm sure your visit will boost the ties between our countries", he added.

Anna Borshchevskaya, a fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, says Russian Federation has no capacity to replace the United States as Saudi Arabia's key ally. "It doesn't look like anybody is willing to bet on better Russia-Saudi relations or new portfolio investments or direct investments, at least at this stage".

Saudi King Salman walks down the escalator of his plane upon arrival in Moscow's Government Vnukovo airport, Russia.

Meanwhile, Sibur, Russia's largest producer of petrochemicals, and Russian State Investment Fund (RDIF) on October 5 signed a memorandum of understanding with energy company Saudi Aramco to exploit possible cooperation in Russia and Saudi Arabia, Reuters reported.

The two countries have already struck a deal on weapons sales and leaders discussed the oil market and Syrian crisis.

There has been no immediate USA reaction to the growing ties between Riyadh and Moscow.

A Saudi plane is travelling daily between Riyadh and Moscow to transport supplies, said the person, who said that 800kg of food has been brought in.



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