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Russia's energy minister Alexander Novak and Saudi Arabia's energy minister Khalid Al-Falih attend a news conference after an OPEC meeting, Vienna, Austria, Nov. 30, 2017 (AP photo by Ronald Zak).

Saudi Arabia Hedges Its Bets Through Closer Relations With Russia

Friday, Feb. 16, 2018

Saudi Arabia and Russia are gushing over their budding relationship. In a series of recent interviews, the Saudi energy minister, Khalid al-Falih, and his Russian counterpart, Alexander Novak, expressed soaring optimism over the future of their countries’ ties, and not just in managing oil markets. “Think of it as a relationship that is in decades and even in generations,” al-Falih told his CNBC interviewers in Davos, Switzerland on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum last month.

Forged after the 2014 collapse in world energy prices, the unlikely partnership between the two Cold War-era adversaries is based first and foremost on stabilizing an oil market that has battered both economies. As the de-facto leaders of the OPEC and non-OPEC blocs, respectively, Saudi Arabia and Russia have been vital at coordinating the production cuts by major oil producers over the past year to raise prices. ...

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