We are confident that Russian-Saudi cooperation is necessary and even non-alternative, that is based on the following:
The near absence of today trade-economic relations between such countries as Russia and Saudi Arabia is an abnormal phenomenon, which should not and cannot continue in the twenty-first century against the background of sharp activation of exchanges and relations between various states;
- This is even more unacceptable taking into account the fact that Russia is among ten most economically developed countries, possessing the most advanced technologies and know-how in many areas, while Saudi Arabia is the largest economy in the Middle East and North Africa, the largest oil exporter and the influential global financial player, ranked fourth fastest developing country in the world;
- Saudi Arabia is the leader of the Arab-Muslim world, while Russia is the country with Europe's biggest Muslim population, which has been integrating into the Russian society for centuries;
- The lack of trade-economic relations between Russia and Saudi Arabia for decades has led to huge accumulated potential, which, under favorable conditions, will inevitably break out and lead to the rapid growth of bilateral cooperation;
- Russia and Saudi Arabia are the largest producers and suppliers of hydrocarbons. They are vitally interested in coordinating their actions both to ensure their own interests and to ensure stability on the world’s oil market, which determines the stability of the global economy. This case clearly confirms a well-known principle that says: «cooperation is the best form of competition»
The inevitability of rapprochement of the RF and KSA is proved by objective factors, which determine mutual complementarity of two economies. They are as follows:
- Russia has the world's largest reserves of fresh water and Saudi Arabia due to climate conditions is short of fresh water, which is compensated with seawater desalination. This is an expensive process which requires more financial resources and larger amounts of oil used as fuel. The necessity for cooperation in this area is obvious.
- In order to restrict the increasing volume of domestic oil consumption, Saudi Arabia's leadership has embarked on the path of development of nuclear and other renewable sources of energy. It is known that Russia occupies the leading position in the world in building the most reliable nuclear reactors, which are being built in dozens of countries on all continents;
- The KSA’s leadership has set the strategic objective to abandon the use of oil as fuel within the country and to switch to gas completely as soon as possible. However, today the volume of gas mining is insufficient. And in this case a unique experience of Gazprom and other Russian companies could be very useful in all the fields relating to exploration, extraction, processing and transportation of gas, construction of gas transportation systems, etc.;
- There are almost no forests in Saudi Arabia and, therefore, no wood which is indispensable in many sectors of the economy. Russia has the world's largest volumes of timber and can deliver it and processed wood products in large quantities;
- Lack of fresh water and arable land as well as dry climate prompted the KSA’s leadership to make the decision to abandon the cultivation of water-intensive crops in the country and switch to the use of foreign countries’ lands with favorable agricultural conditions. Previous experience of grain cultivation has been accepted as highly expensive and not justifying the expenses. According to the declared ‘Food Security Program’ Riyadh is ready to invest in the development of agricultural firms in foreign countries through the establishment of joint ventures, leasing or purchase of farmland. Russia has world’s largest arable land area, which also can be greatly expanded, as well as agricultural companies, which are ready to cooperate with Saudi farmers;
- One of the main strategic objectives of the Kingdom’s management is to receive and develop new technologies. Russia possesses such technologies in the field of space exploration, peaceful use of nuclear energy, in communication systems and IT, in production of unmatched weapons systems, in the field of oil and gas extraction and processing as well as in many others.
- It is important that unlike western countries, most Russian designs are more efficient and less expensive. It is also important to note that, as experience shows, Russia is more open and more willing to share its scientific and technical achievements than western countries.
- Foreign businessmen, including Russian businessmen, find Saudi market attractive for its high capacity, resistance to market fluctuations and high solvency. Thanks to substantial financial reserves accumulated during the years of high prices on hydrocarbons, Saudi Arabia was affected by the global economic turmoil to a smaller extent than other countries.