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Russia, Saudis sign energy agreement

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Thursday, September 4, 2003

MOSCOW Russia and Saudi Arabia have signed their first energy cooperation accord.

The accord was signed on Tuesday during the visit by Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz. Abdullah met Russian President Vladimir Putin in the first visit to Moscow by a Saudi leader, Middle East Newsline reported.

A Russian Cabinet statement said the agreement between Saudi Arabia and Russia -- the world's first and second largest oil exporters, respectively -- called for cooperation in the oil and natural gas industry.

This would include joint ventures in exploration and research as well as cooperation to maintain stability in the global oil market.

Russian officials said Putin urged Abdullah to encourage Saudi investment in Russian industries. They said Russia seeks Saudi investment in the energy and defense sectors.

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