At the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum it transpired that the Russian President was going to meet the king of Saudi Arabia in the near future. Experts doubt the countries have enough shared interests to become close partners.
Russia and Saudi Arabia Share Few Strategic Cooperation Goals
The Head of the Analytical Center’s Department for Strategic Studies in Energy Alexander Kurdin noted in an interview for Ko.ru, a weekly publication, that there were too many differences between Moscow and El Riyadh for a strong enough alliance to be established on a secular foundation. “Since Russia and Saudi Arabia have pretty much the same specialization in the global markets, the very nature of the global economy makes the two countries sworn competitors rather than partners so there are not that many strategic areas they can cooperate in,” the expert believes.
At the same time Mr. Kurdin does not rule out the possibility of Gazprom Neft that has recently been very active in the Middle East acquiring assets in Saudi Arabia. Arab oilers could work in Russia too. “At one point there was a Kuwaiti company working in the Timan-Pechora region so some company from Saudi Arabia could in theory work in Russia too, why not?” the expert mused, noting that the two countries could cooperate by sharing technologies and through diversification of assets.