Saudi Arabia Investment Fund to invest $10bln into projects in Russian Federation

Kuwait News Agency (Kuna), 10.07.2015

Saudi Arabia has invested about $10 billion into the Russian projects.

Commenting further on the deal that was initiated with a memorandum of understanding during the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, Sfakianakis said: "Russia is a very important economy, in 2014 the tenth largest, that can't be ignored, and within the larger Eurasian context of paramount importance".

Speaking to reporters shortly after inking the deal, RDIF chief executive Kirill Dmitriev thanked deputy crown prince and defense minister Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud for his "immense" role in pushing the deal forward even though he was tightlipped when asked if it was part of a political agenda. "These funds are expected to be implemented within 4-5 years", Dmitriev said, according to Sputnik News, adding: "We plan to implement 10 deals... before the end of this year, seven of them are now in the final stage".

"Sometimes the wind can help bring the ship to its destination", he was quoted as saying in the FT report. While Riyadh backs "moderate" Islamists in Syria, Moscow remains resolutely opposed to any engagement of Islamist forces as a means of stopping the rapid expansion of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis).

Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund and Russian Direct Investment Fund together are going to invest $10 billion into Russian projects.

The RDIF also said it signed an agreement with another Saudi Arabian sovereign-wealth fund, the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority, under which the two sides would seek mutual investment opportunities in Saudi Arabia and other Middle East countries.

Until 2013, RDIF had established partnerships with western sovereign funds.

Russian Federation over the past year has turned its economic focus to Asia and the Middle East as it struggles with tit-for-tat sanctions with the West over the Ukraine conflict.

Mr Dmitriev urged European investors to interpret the Saudi deal as a signal to come back.