Putin: I have very good relations with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, Crown Prince

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Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he has “very good relations” with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and that Moscow condemns the recent attacks on Saudi Aramco oil facilities, regardless of who perpetrated them.

“I have very good relations with both the King and the Crown Prince,” Putin told Al Arabiya in a translated interview which will be broadcast tomorrow, Sunday, October 13, at 09:00 GMT.

“We have been making good headway practically in all fields,” he added, referring to progress in Saudi-Russian ties and joint projects.

When asked if he condemned the September 14 attacks on Saudi Aramco oil facilities in the Kingdom regardless of who perpetrated them, Putin said: “Regardless of who stood behind the incident, we condemn any actions.”

Putin was also asked how Russia could not be aware of who was behind the Saudi Aramco attacks, considering its high level of intelligence capabilities.

Putin’s interview came ahead of his visit to Saudi Arabia on Monday.

He will be meeting Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Kremlin’s top foreign policy aide Yury Ushakov told journalists on Thursday.

Russia and Saudi Arabia will sign more than $2 billion of deals and discuss the OPEC+ oil output agreement, according to a senior official. The two countries are both major oil producers, and Moscow recently stated that it remained committed to working with Saudi Arabia to support oil prices by curbing output.

The talks come during a period of heightened regional tensions, after Iran has been widely blamed for carrying out the attacks on Saudi Aramco oil facilities, which temporarily knocked out about five percent of the world’s oil supply, and continuing to support proxy and terrorist organizations across the region.

The planned visit to the Kingdom is Putin’s first since 2007. King Salman visited Russia in 2017, the first time a reigning Saudi Arabian monarch had visited Russia in an official capacity.

“I am convinced that the Russia-Saudi summit will give further strong impetus to our multifaceted partnership, contribute to its qualitative growth and strengthen mutual understanding between the two peoples,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said to Russia’s RIA news agency on the eve of the visit.

After visiting the Kingdom, Putin will travel to the UAE on Tuesday. The visit is taking place under the framework of the strategic partnership signed between the two countries in June last year, according to the UAE state news agency WAM.