Putin to meet Saudi king in Moscow

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"We are awaiting the king's visit on Thursday", President Vladimir Putin's foreign policy aide, Yury Ushakov, was quoted by the state TASS news agency as saying.

Several investment deals, including on a liquefied project and petrochemical plants, could also be signed during the trip and plans for a $1-billion fund to invest in energy projects are likely to be finalised.

General Authority for Statistics figures show that Saudi Arabia's gross domestic product (GDP) shrank by 2.3 percent in this year's second quarter compared with the first three months of 2017, mainly over low oil prices and less production.

The 81-year-old Salman is scheduled to meet with Putin on Thursday, with the two leaders likely among other things to discuss the Syrian conflict, where Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia have supported opposing sides, as they have in Yemen's civil war as well.

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"The visit of the Saudi Arabian king [Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud] and his big delegation is considered to be historic, as this is the first visit of the head of the Kingdom to Russian Federation".

Moreover, Russia's Energy Minister Alexander Novak has said that Libya is also expected to join the OPEC deal.

At this time, although oil prices are improving, Saudi Arabia can not increase its output since the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opep) has agreed to slash production as it waits for prices to go up. It is expected to be attended by more than half of OPEC's 15 members, Reuters reported, with ministers due to focus on recommendations for the next meeting between global oil producers, scheduled for November.

The Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, also seeks cooperation on nuclear and renewable energy and railways with the powerful Russian Federation. In June 2017, the oil producers agreed to extend those cuts until March 2018.

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