Saudi Arabia and Russia appear to have set aside their foreign policy differences and their oil rivalry by reaching agreement to cooperate in various sectors, including energy markets. While these may yet remain ink on paper, the symbolism of the visit to St Petersburg by the Saudi deputy crown prince Muhammad bin Salman at the head of a high level delegation cannot be dismissed as mere theatre.

The International Economic Forum held annually in the former imperial capital of the Russian tsars is a grand affair, attended by the world’s movers and shakers in the political and business world, though Saudi Arabia has been conspicuously absent in the past. (CONTINUED - 1199 WORDS)