"As far as Russian Federation is concerned, we will do everything possible to create the necessary conditions for a positive dynamic" aimed at easing tensions, Putin said in the interview broadcast Sunday. A year later, when the Saudi crown prince, known as MBS, was under fire over the assassination of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, Putin went out of his way to shake his hand at a G20 summit, to much comment.
Russian Federation has also strengthened ties with both Saudi Arabia and Iran, which are locked in a decades-old contest for the influence that veered towards open conflict after a recent spate of attacks on oil assets in the Gulf that Riyadh and Washington blame on Tehran. Saudi Arabia unsuccessfully backed those trying to oust Assad.
In an interview with Arabic-language television channels ahead of his visit, Putin praised his good relations with the Saudi royals.
Yemen's Huthi rebels claimed responsibility, but U.S. officials blamed Iran and said the rebels did not have the range or sophistication to target the facilities.
"We know, we all know what and how the President of the United States, Mr. Trump, says about Russian-American relations", stated Putin. But US officials blamed Tehran, charging that the rebels did not have the range or sophistication to target the facilities. President Hassan Rouhani denies that Tehran were involved, while the West roundly condemned Iran as the orchestrators citing evidence of the strikes being sourced from the east of Riyadh.
Oil will be "the main topic of discussion" between Putin and Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, political analyst Fyodor Lukyanov told AFP. Russian Federation and Iran back President Bashar al-Assad, while the Saudis support the opposition seeking his ouster.
Putin said Syrians "interact positively" with Russian military police and military stationed in the country and that most military police in Syria were Muslims drawn from Russia's north Caucasus region.
But when asked if he would condemn Iran if it was found to have been behind the attack, he said regardless of who was behind the attack, Russian Federation would condemn it.
In terms of business, the visit is expected to result in around 30 agreements and contracts, according to Ushakov.
King Salman had visited Russian Federation in October 2017.
The announcement that troops would be sent to Saudi Arabia came as US forces were abruptly pulled out of northeastern Syria, allowing a Turkish offensive that threatened to devastate Syrian Kurds, who had been instrumental in the fight against the Islamic State.