In Moscow, Saudi King, Putin to discuss energy projects, regional ties

A two-litre carton of British milk sells for £5 in Qatar

"A meeting between Putin and King Salman will mark an important stage in bilateral relations", he said.

The Kingdom is looking to acquire stakes in at least two oil and gas companies in Russia, Saudi sources close to the talks told Bloomberg, requesting anonymity because of the private nature of said talks.

Novak said energy and oil ministers from more than half of OPEC's members will visit Moscow to take part in the Russian Energy Week 2017 forum.

Putin visited the Saudi capital of Riyadh in 2007, in the only visit by a Russian leader to the oil-rich Gulf kingdom.

A thaw between Moscow and Riyadh helped reach a landmark oil deal in November in which the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and 10 other oil-producing countries, including Russian Federation, agreed to cut their production in a bid to push up oil prices.

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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".

Asked about ties with Riyadh during a panel discussion at an global energy conference Wednesday, Putin responded that Moscow doesn't see close U.S. -Saudi relations as an obstacle for closer cooperation with the Saudis, and added that alliances tend to shift.

Despite spectacular price gains for crude on Friday, the call for consistently higher prices is louder than ever and coming from two fronts: Saudi Arabia, which needs oil to be at least in the $60s in order to make feasible its long-planned IPO of Saudi Aramco; and us shale producers, who despite posting healthy profits in 2017 need better prices for their investments to pay off in the long term.

The two countries led the agreement between OPEC and non-OPEC producers to cut crude production till the end of March 2018.

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