Saudi Arab

‘Russia, Saudi Arabia almost finalize S-400 deal’

Russia and Saudi Arabia are in talks to sign an agreement on the purchase by Riyadh of the Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile defense system.

“The talks are ongoing now, the terms are being agreed,” and a contract could be signed “in the nearest time,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said, Interfax news agency reported on Friday.

King Salman of Saudi Arabia last Wednesday became the first Saudi monarch to ever visit Russia.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov later briefed reporters about the content of the talks that had been held between Putin and Salman and said bilateral military cooperation between Russia and Saudi Arabia had not been aimed at other countries.

The trip was seen on the one hand as a sign that Saudi Arabia, which has been supporting the anti-Damascus militants since 2011, was coming to terms with the turn of the tide in Syria, where Moscow is successfully helping the government defeat them. On the other, it was seen as an attempt to converge Riyadh and Moscow around efforts to boost and stabilize oil prices, on which both countries heavily depend.

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