Russian frigate makes rare port call in Saudi

AFP , Thursday 6 Apr 2023

Two Russian vessels left Jeddah on Thursday after making the first port call by the Russian navy in a Saudi port for a decade, Russian officials said.

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
The Russian frigate Admiral Gorshkov docking in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on April 6, 2023. AFP


The frigate Admiral Gorshkov and the tanker Kama arrived in Jeddah on Wednesday and left less than 24 hours later after a "long arranged" visit, a Russian embassy official in Riyadh told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Russia's defense ministry said on its website that the port call was the first by a Russian warship in about 10 years.

The two ships took on food and drinking water in the Red Sea port, the ministry said. A "cultural program" was also scheduled for the crew, it added.

Admiral Gorshkov, which is armed with Zircon hypersonic missiles, and the Kama were part of a group of Russian Northern Fleet vessels that left in January and has taken part in two exercises, in the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea. One of the exercises was with China and South Africa.

Saudi Arabia has taken a conciliatory stance over Russia's invasion of Ukraine calling for a political solution.

Russia has worked closely with the kingdom and other members of the Organisation of Oil Exporting Countries (OPEC) in efforts to manage the oil markets.

Earlier this month, OPEC and its allies cut production by more than one million barrels per day in a surprise move that sent prices soaring and drew criticism from the United States.

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