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How Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation are bonding over oil

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz

It is expected that Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz and Russian President Vladimir Putin will sign more than 10 major agreements that will map the future of the relationship between the two countries.

On Saturday, official data showed Saudi Arabia's economy has slipped back into recession as the oil sector stagnates and the government sector is hit by austerity policies created to curb a state budget deficit.

Saudi ruler Salman bin Abdulaziz will hold early talks about investing in Russian oil and gas when he visits Moscow this week, reports suggest.

While Russia and Saudi Arabia are now allies on the global oil market, they are on the opposite sides in the Syria conflict, with Moscow supporting the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and Riyadh backing the opposition.

Prior to his departure from the coastal city of Jeddah, the Saudi Press Agency reported that Salman was accompanied by several ministers including Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, Minister of Trade and Investment Majid Al-Qassabi and Minister of Energy Khalid al-Falih.

"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". In June 2017, the oil producers agreed to extend those cuts until March 2018.

Saudi Arabia's Princess Nourah University will open a driving school for women after a ban on women driving in the country was lifted recently.

Venezuela has invited Egypt to join the oil output cut deal of OPEC and participating non-OPEC countries, Eulogio Del Pino, Minister of the People's Ministry of Petroleum of Venezuela wrote on Twitter.

The Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, also seeks cooperation on nuclear and renewable energy and railways with the powerful Russian Federation.