Russian Direct Investment Fund important bridge between Russia and Saudi Arabia - minister

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The partnership between Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter and Russian Federation, the largest sovereign producer outside of Opec follows a precedent set by the unlikely allies in 2016, when they joined hands to undertake production cuts to prop up global oil prices.

"In Saudi Arabia, we also recently launched a joint initiative with the Crown Prince's foundation called the Misk Grand Challenges, which calls for innovation from across the world to empower youth", he said in a video message.

Chief Executive Officer of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) Kirill Dmitriev discussed investment cooperation prospects with King of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, RDIF press service said earlier on Wednesday.

"While we continue to see a firming fundamental backdrop over the course of this year.investors should not discount the caution signs that have been emerging", investment bank RBC Capital Markets said in a note to clients.

Saudi officials have said the government plans to sell up to 5 percent of Aramco shares on one or more foreign exchanges in addition to Riyadh. "We believe this is very good for, once again, thinking jointly about oil," he said.

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Russian Federation also has significant investments in Saudi Arabia's petrochemicals industry, he said. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak had said in October the deal would be worth $1.1 billion.

The Saudi-led block accused Doha of supporting terrorism and cut diplomatic ties, imposing travel restrictions and an economic blockade on the small-yet-wealthy Gulf state.

Oil prices have been fluctuating widely since the beginning of the year, hitting their highest levels in more than three years in January but recently posting their biggest weekly losses in two months in line with production and industry developments such as fluctuating US oil rig counts.

Last year, RDIF and PIF created the Russia-Saudi Investment Fund (RSIF) to pursue investment opportunities, primarily in Russia, and in joint ventures that can help Saudi Arabia's economic diversification. The deal, effective from January 2017, was extended through to the end of 2018 in December.

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