"What is behind the visit is the fact that Russia has suffered from sanctions on the investment level and the Saudi Arabia king could come calling with some money," Bros told Radio Sputnik, pointing out that the sanctions, at the same time, are pushing Russia to develop more advanced technologies in the oil and gas sector.
According to the expert, the possibility of gaining access to such a technology is another reason for broader economic cooperation between the world’s two biggest oil producers.
"It’s a win-win situation right now. The Saudis are going to put some money into Russia and they may be able to access a technology that is going to be second to none and that is going to be much cheaper because it has been developed in Russia," Bros said.
On Thursday, Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud arrived in Moscow for the first ever visit of a reigning Saudi monarch to Russia, leading a 1,000-strong delegation of Saudi high-profile officials and businessmen. In particular, the visit has resulted in a package of 14 bilateral deals, including on energy and investment cooperation.
Commenting on the economic advantages the two countries could possibly gain from such cooperation, Bros first of all underscored the importance of foreign investment for various sectors of the Russian economy.
As for Saudi Arabia, according to the expert, in addition to new technologies in oil and gas, what is valuable is Russia’s experience of managing its oil and gas economy, especially running its two main state-owned energy giants, namely Rosneft and Gazprom. Bros suggested that in particular Riyadh could use this experience for the planned initial public offering (IPO) of Saudi Aramco.
Meanwhile, earlier this week, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said that Russian investors could consider taking part in the Saudi company’s IPO in 2018.