It is widely known that the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, has paid a visit to Riyadh on Wednesday this week to discuss further cooperation on oil prices. However, no one knows that the United Kingdom was also expecting a visit from the Saudi Crown Prince at the time as well.
Saudi Arabia paused plans for the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to visit London in the past few days, according to UK officials as reported by the Financial Times.
UK and Saudi officials had confirmed that both countries had been in talks about the visit of the crown prince, and the UK had expected the visit on December 3.
The postponement of the visit in the UK and a warm welcome to Russia’s president had raised questions about the relationships between these countries, as this is the first time that Putin has stepped into the Middle East region since Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022.
However, Saudi officials denied any connections to the two incidents, citing the reason behind the postponement as scheduling issues.
The meeting between Putin and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman took place after the oil prices fell, following the disappointment from the market about the amount of production that the group aims to cut in the first quarter next year.
The Saudi Press Agency quoted the crown prince as saying that he and Putin share many interests and that they are working on projects that will benefit Russia, Saudi Arabia, the Middle East, and the world.
The next meeting of the two leaders is expected to be in Moscow, as the crown prince said that nothing can block their developing friendly relations.
The decision of Riyadh and the crown prince (seem like) to choose Putin over the UK could be seen as an indication of a tight relationship between Saudi Arabia and Russia, the top two oil producers in OPEC+, as they couldn’t care less about western countries.