Russia, Saudi Arabia sign key oil deal

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(Riyadh) – Energy giants Saudi Arabia and Russia sealed a key oil deal to boost cooperation among the two countries, as visiting President Vladimir Putin sought to defuse political tensions in the the region.

The energy superpowers inked  some 20 contracts and agreements worth billions of dollars on aerospace, culture, health, advanced technology and agriculture.

Key among the deals was the agreement to bolster cooperation among the so-called OPEC+ countries — the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries plus 10 non-members of the cartel.

Moscow is not a member of OPEC, but it has worked closely with the group to limit supply and push up prices after a 2014 slump that wreaked havoc on the economies of Russia and cartel heavyweight Saudi Arabia.

Monday´s deal seeks to “reinforce cooperation … and strengthen oil market stability”, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said at the signing ceremony.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov told reporters that Putin and Saudi officials also discussed “military and technical cooperation”.