SOCHI, October 19. /TASS/. Russia plans to expand cooperation with Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries despite their ties with the United States, President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club on Thursday.
According to the president, Moscow and Riyadh have no ideological contradictions that Saudi Arabia and the Soviet Union used to have. "There is nothing that would fundamentally divide us from Saudi Arabia or other countries of the (Middle Eastern - TASS) region. I have good personal, almost friendly relations with many, almost all leaders of those states," he said, adding that the latest visit of the Saudi King to Russia was historic.
"We are comfortable with the fact that those countries, including Saudi Arabia, have their own particular interests, historically developed ties, friendly relations, including with the United States," Putin said. "This does not mean that the cooperation with Saudi Arabia is banned for us," the president said, adding that Moscow will cooperate with the kingdom and other countries of the region.
"Russia is demonstrating a stable foreign policy, predictability and reliability. I think that this is what attracts our partners," he said. Also, Putin said, Russia is interested in economic cooperation with the Middle Eastern nations. "We have agreed our position with OPEC nations and particularly with Saudi Arabia on the energy market, after which the price has been stable at over $50. We consider it a fair price. We are satisfied with it. This is a result of our joint efforts," the president said.
According to Putin, military and technical cooperation is another promising area of cooperation with Saudi Arabia, despite existing multi-billion contracts between the kingdom and the United States.