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Saudi Arabia Is Quietly Cozying Up To Russia: What Does It Mean For The Middle East?

(LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP/Getty Images)

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During the G20 summit earlier this month, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. After the meeting, Putin announced that Russia and Saudi Arabia had agreed to extend an oil production cut agreement for another nine months. When the extension was formalized several days later, OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo touted the deal as a “Catholic marriage” and boasted that it would last an “eternity.”

Such cooperation between the two countries would have surprised many international observers just a few years ago. Back then, Saudi Arabia and Russia appeared headed for showdown over Syria and global oil prices. Now however, one of America’s closest allies in the Middle East and one of its leading adversaries are increasingly finding common ground.