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Saudi king arrives in Moscow on historic 1st visit to Russian Federation

A Hercules Offshore Inc. jackup shallow-water drilling unit stands idle in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Cameron Louisiana U.S. on Saturday

Saudi Aramco is also expected to sign a number of Memoranda of Understandings with major Russian companies.

King Salman is expected to ask Russia's support and commitment to ensure that the production cuts deal continues, following Saudi Arabia's cut of its output to around 10 million barrels per day to help control a glut in world oil supplies.

The forthcoming visit to Russia by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia is a truly historic event for Russian-Saudi bilateral relations, said former Russian Ambassador in Riyadh Oleg Ozerov, who is now a deputy director of the Russian Foreign Ministry's African department on Monday, Russia's TASS News Agency reported.

"For King Salman to make this visit to Russian Federation now, with all the reports of his failing health and plans to hand over the reins to MBS (Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud), to me signifies how important this strategic partnership has become to both sides", she said. Though Russia will not be replacing the USA in this regard due to the many complicated connections the Middle East has with the West in general and America in particular, Moscow is trying to encourage Middle Eastern countries to have better relations based on mutual understanding and common benefits.

A university in Saudi Arabia has said it will open a driving school for women, in a first for the ultra-conservative country after a ban on women driving was lifted.

Director General of the Centre for Arab-Russian Research Majid Al Turki assessed King Salman's visit as a new stage in bilateral relations.

Producers agreed to extend the cuts for nine more months, ending in March 2018.

Salman's visit comes after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov visited Saudi Arabia last month, as part of a tour of the Gulf region to discuss regional developments including the conflict in Syria and the months-long quarrel between several Arab countries and Qatar.