The head of the Federation Council Valentina Matvienko 17 April Monday, completed a two-day visit to Saudi Arabia. The speaker of the upper house of the Russian parliament held a series of meetings - including with the King of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud.
Unlike British Prime Minister Theresa May, who also recently visited Riyadh in an emphatically secular outfit, Valentina Matvienko arrived in the Saudi capital in a long green dress and a headscarf. "There is, first, a diplomatic culture: if you come to another country, you should respect culture, traditions, religious characteristics, and these are the indispensable conditions for diplomatic etiquette." But this is also an internal culture, because if you somehow with disdain, you will not get any trusting dialogue, "explained Matviyenko her choice of clothes to journalists.
On the other hand, during the visit of the Speaker of the Federation Council firmly condemned the recent US missile strike on Syria, which was supported by the Saudis: "We believe that the bombardment of cruise missiles to Syria is a flagrant violation of international law, an act of aggression against a sovereign state."
Oil, C-400 and Islamic banking
The talks center expectedly proved oil and gas cooperation. Moscow and Riyadh are developing interactions to reduce oil production. Both countries have fulfilled the obligations under an agreement between OPEC and other oil-producing countries. "Russia and Saudi Arabia were the guarantor of the implementation of this agreement and I am confident that this cooperation will continue and further, because nobody wants it to be a chaotic course of events." - said Matvienko.
Such cooperation is mutually beneficial indeed - it allows you to maintain a sufficient level of oil prices, at the same time are interested in what the Kremlin and the Saudi monarchy. A couple of years ago, when US President Barack Obama, was a popular theory that Washington specifically urged Riyadh to bring down oil prices to annoy Russia. One way or another, but today the Russian and Saudi government vigorously interact in the oil issue.
Curiously, the Riyadh despite the actually very close ties with the United States did not support anti-Russian sanctions, which was supported by many other allies Vashngtona EU - Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada.
In addition to energy, issues of military-technical cooperation were also discussed. Details were not disclosed, but it is known that at the end of last year Saudi Arabia showed increased interest in the latest Russian air defense systems C-400 "Triumph". This was reported to RIA Novosti by the Russian ambassador to the kingdom Oleg Ozerov. At the beginning of the year 2017, the Minister of Industry and Trade of Russia Denis Manturov also said: "Indeed, we negotiated with the Saudi side on this issue, both on military aircraft and on land." The main partner and supplier of weapons for the Saudi - Washington. It turns out that Russia begins to compete with the United States.
Another aspect of the negotiations - in Russia support the institute of so-called "Islamic banking" and the arrival in Russia of the Saudi banks. The fact that, in accordance with the rules of Islam the kingdom banks refuse transactions with loans at interest and futures transactions in favor of the project financing. Optimum their functioning in Russia, and hence the Saudi investments require special legislation. At the regional level, primarily in Tatarstan, such experience. It remains to take appropriate legislative innovations at the country level.
During a meeting with representatives of the Kingdom of Valentina Matvienko, the business community said that in 2017, the need to make joint projects of Russia and Saudi Arabia, totaling three billion dollars.
The speaker also noted that the Saudi king is planning an official visit to Russia. Made to him before Vladimirom Putinym proposal, he "received with thanks".
Is it possible to regional partnership?
Moscow and Riyadh strongly differ on the conflict in Syria and the situation in Iran. This hampers the possibility for diplomatic maneuvering. Nevertheless, the point of contact for all still there. "In Moscow and Riyadh have similar positions on the settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. As for Syria, we have very serious disagreements only on the further fate of President Bashar al-Assad, but also Russia and Saudi Arabia agree that a military solution to this crisis can not be , "- said vice-speaker of the Federation Council Ilyas Umakhanov.
Meanwhile, relations relationship the US and Saudi Arabia irritated lawsuit against American citizens of Riyadh, who accuse the authorities of the Kingdom of supporting a terrorist organization "Al Qaeda". * A class action lawsuit on behalf of victims of the terrorist attacks 800 11 September 2001 been considering a federal court in Manhattan. The total amount of claims is estimated at six billion dollars.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia had previously stated that it "undermines the principles of the sovereign immunity of the state" and even promised to sell its US assets to avoid being frozen by court order.