Marking Saudi King Salman’s first state visit to Moscow yesterday, Russian President, Vladamir Putin described the event as a “landmark event” that would provide a “boost” to relations” at the summit in Kremlin. King Salman agreed and said Russia was a “friendly country”. This display of compliments also marked the apparent agreement that has been reached between the two countries on a $3 billion deal to supply the Saudi’s with Russia’s most advanced air defence missile system, the S400 Triumph.
King Salman was welcomed to Moscow with an honour guard of dignitaries, as well as the Preobrazhensky military orchestra. The Saudi king also passed a number of billboards along the highway advertising the visit and a week-long festival of Saudi culture. Russia aimed to impress. After a few years of courtship, the partnership between Saudi Arabia and Russia is officially starting, after a shaky past relationship.
The $3 billion deal (along with other missiles and rocket launchers Saudi Arabia will also buy from Russia under the deal) is “expected to play a pivotal role in the growth and development of the military and military systems industry in Saudi Arabia” according to Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI). This also greatly benefits Russia with a much-needed financial boost.
It was a positive trip, with both leaders acknowledging the fact that it was important to fight ‘terror’ and find peaceful solutions to conflicts in the Middle East.