Russia interior minister in Saudi Arabia just after trip by Ukraine's Zelensky

AP , Tuesday 23 May 2023

Russian interior minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev met with Saudi interior minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud early Tuesday and held talks with his counterpart in the kingdom, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Russia - Saudi interior ministers
This photo courtesy of the Saudi Press Agency shows Russia s Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev as he meets with Saudi Interior Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud to hold talks on security cooperation between the two countries. SPA


The visit to Riyadh came just days after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed an Arab League summit held in Saudi Arabia's Red Sea port city of Jeddah on Friday. The visits underline how the kingdom and Gulf Arab states, traditionally the security clients of the United States, have been maintaining their relations with Moscow amid the Ukraine war.

“During the session, they discussed ways to enhance security cooperation paths between the two countries’ ministries of interior, in addition to discussing a number of issues of common interest,” the report said.

Russian media did not immediately report on the visit.

Since the war in Ukraine began, oil giant Saudi Arabia has been purchasing Russian diesel fuel at steep discounts, given Western sanctions on Moscow, AP reported. That diesel has been cheaper for the kingdom to use while it exports its own crude oil products abroad to take advantage of global prices.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the king's powerful 37-year-old son, also has tried to position the kingdom as a potential negotiator between Kyiv and Moscow to end the war.

“The kingdom is ready to continue mediating between Russia and Ukraine and to support all international efforts to end the crisis politically toward peace,” the prince told the Arab League summit on Friday.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online

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