Putin offers co-operation with Gulf states

14 February 2007

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal have both spoken positively about the potential for cooperation on the development of civil nuclear energy programs in Saudi Arabia.

President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia is willing to look into cooperation opportunities with Saudi Arabia in the area of atomic energy at a meeting of the Riyadh Chambers of Commerce on 12 February. Putin told delegates he hoped to build stronger ties with Arab Muslim countries.

"We are all allies of the Kingdom in working to meet the world's need for energy," Putin said.

At a news conference on 14 February, the Saudi prince said he did not see any obstacle to cooperating with Russia on developing a nuclear energy programme.

President Putin was on a two-day tour of Saudi Arabia, the first visit by a Russia leader.

"On the face of it... it seems that we are rivals, but considering the world's growing demand for energy, that is not so," Putin said at a meeting with Russian and Saudi businessmen.

Putin said that there was already a Russian contact working with the Gulf Cooperation Council, which has previously announced its interest in developing nuclear energy in the Gulf region.

Further information

Gulf Cooperation Council

WNN: Gulf States discuss nuclear plans with IAEA