- Jul 2011
Saudi king arrives in Moscow: Russian state TVMOSCOW (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s King Salman arrived in Moscow on Wednesday, Russian state television footage showed.
The Rossiya-24 channel showed Salman’s plane arriving at Vnukovo airport outside the Russian capital.
More: Why Washington will be watching a Saudi king's visit to MoscowThe sense of occasion is understandable. This is the first official visit by a Saudi king to Russia in the two nations' histories. And it will be watched closely around the world — perhaps especially in Washington.
The United States has been Saudi Arabia's most important ally for more than 70 years. In contrast, Riyadh forged relations with Moscow only after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Even then, it took a while for things to warm up: Although Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the Saudi capital in 2007, then-King Abdullah didn't repay the favor.
Times have changed. Abdullah died in 2015, leaving Salman and his powerful young son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in charge. Amid geopolitical uncertainty, with U.S. global leadership questioned and oil prices depressed, Saudi Arabia and Russia appear to have reconsidered their arm's-length relationship and moved toward something closer.
Also: Saudi's king in Moscow: An unexpected rapprochement
We shall see what he and Putin talk about. There is talk of the Saudis investing in Russian toll roads and other infrastructure: Saudi Arabia to invest into Russian toll roads
We'll see what happens with that. Most of the conversation will focus on Syria though, no doubt.