Saudi Arabia to buy air defence systems from Russian Federation

Jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has called on supporters to hold rallies against Vladimir Putin's rule as the Russian president marks his 65th birthday

Novak said the two countries' business circles maintain intensive dialogue, and he pointed out that the Saudi delegation to Moscow included 85 chief executives of major Saudi companies.

The agreement, implemented in January, is created to bring the global level of crude oil inventories closer to the five-year average.

Members of OPEC, of which Saudi Arabia is the biggest producer, have joined with non-member Russian Federation and other countries in cutting crude output in a pact that has helped prop up prices. So far that deal is holding and prices have recovered slightly to above $50 a barrel.

Addressing regional affairs, King Salman told Putin that Iran must stop meddling in Middle Eastern conflicts.

Alexey Gremov, director of the Energy Department at the Institute for Energy and Finance, described the Saudi King's visit to Russia as a "very important event", stressing that discussions over oil-related issues between Russian and OPEC countries came following several visits by Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih. From January to June this year, bilateral trade decreased under 16.5 million dollars, according to the Kremlin.

The countries also signed a memorandum of understanding to help the kingdom in its efforts to develop its own military industries, a statement from state-owned Saudi Arabian Military Industries said. The Saudis also have been eyeing Russian nuclear power technologies and appear ready to expand food imports from Russia, which is set to remain the world's biggest wheat exporter this year.

Fyodor Lukyanov, the Kremlin-connected chairman of the Council on Foreign and Defence Policy, said Riyadh saw closer ties with Moscow as expedient for the moment, and was "diversifying risks" by buying arms from both Moscow and the US. "Considering the large oil and gas resources possessed by our two countries, we also have a common interest in strengthening oil's position and there are numerous to collaborate in these areas", he added.

"I think these fundamental mutual interests will sooner or later change the nature of Russian-U.S. relations for the better", Putin said.

However, Moscow's relations with Saudi Arabia were going through rocky roads after which tensions became high following different positions on the Syrian crisis. The Russian president spoke ahead of meetings with the leaders of key Opec members, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.

King Salman called Russian Federation a "friendly nation" and said his four-day visit would boost growing ties between the world's two largest oil exporters.

At the same time, Saudi Arabia continues to present itself as a regional and worldwide player that is indispensable.

Both sides are involved in the conflict, but on opposing sides.

With the performance of Russian weapons coming in for praise in Syria, Saudi Arabia could be looking beyond its long traditional procurement sources of the U.S. and Western Europe.

Still, Russia doesn't have the capacity to replace the USA as Saudi Arabia's main ally, Anna Borshchevskaya, a fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told the Associated Press. The Russian president said threats like Trump's warning last month in NY that the USA would "totally destroy" the isolated Communist state if it strikes at it is leading to a "very risky dead end".