The Two Most Powerful Oil Men On Earth Set Landmark Meeting

By Tsvetana Paraskova

MBS Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin will discuss the production cut pact that OPEC and its Russia-led allies have been implementing for nearly three years now during his first visit in more than a decade to Saudi Arabia next week, the head of Russia’s sovereign wealth fund said on Thursday.

Russia and Saudi Arabia will sign more than ten agreements worth over US$2 billion, Kirill Dmitriev, chief executive at the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), told reporters in Russia today.

The agreements will be in different areas, including agriculture, railways, petrochemicals, and one of the investments will concern Saudi Aramco—the details of this deal cannot be disclosed yet, Dmitriev said.

“The OPEC+ deal will also be discussed during the meetings,” Dmitriev said, as carried by Reuters.

Putin will visit Saudi Arabia on October 14, and during the visit he will meet Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, with whom he will discuss cooperation, economy, trade, and investments. Putin will also hold a separate meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Kremlin said on Thursday.

Over the past few years, the meetings between Putin and the crown prince at various international events have served as a kind of pre-approval of the next moves of the OPEC+ coalition.

While they have managed to put a floor under oil prices, the allies in the OPEC+ deal have failed to materially move prices higher. With fears of demand faltering, the leaders of the pact—Saudi Arabia and Russia—face a tough test ahead.

At an energy forum in Russia earlier this month, Putin commented on the OPEC+ alliance and said that “Russia remains a responsible party to the OPEC+ deal. We are convinced that cooperation will continue to develop.”

At a meeting with OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo on the sidelines of the forum, Putin said that “The recent attack on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia certainly triggered a hike in oil prices, but I was sure that everything would return to today’s indicators because there are no serious grounds for fundamental market fluctuations. They do not exist partly owing to our common efforts to stabilise the world market.”

By Tsvetana Paraskova for


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