Russian sovereign fund chief hails ‘outstanding’ potential for cooperation with Saudi Arabia

Arab News, 06.10.2019

DUBAI:There is “outstanding potential for cooperation” between Saudi Arabia and Russia, the head of Russia’s sovereign wealth fund told Arab News on Sunday.

Kirill Dmitriev, chief executive of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), said the forthcoming visit to the Kingdom this month by Russian President Vladimir Putin “shows the growing role Russia is playing in the Middle East.”

Dmitriev spoke after he was honored by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman last week with the Order of King Abdul Aziz, which is given for outstanding services to the Kingdom and is the leading Saudi national honor.

“To belong to the order is the highest distinction and honor in the Kingdom,” Dmitriev said.

“Relations between our countries are developing intensively in all areas of bilateral cooperation, and I am extremely grateful for such a high recognition of the efforts of RDIF.”

Dmitriev is only the second Russian citizen to receive the award, after President Putin himself. It was given “in recognition of his contribution to strengthening cooperation between the Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia.”

RDIF and Saudi Arabia have been involved in $2.7 billion of joint investment in energy, industrial and infrastructure projects since the Russia-Saudi Investment Fund was set up two years ago.

When the Kingdom welcomes President Putin on a state visit this month, further multimillion-dollar deals are expected to be announced in petrochemicals, agriculture and energy services.