Russia has prepared a package of around US$3.5 billion arms sales to Saudi Arabia, which includes several divisions of S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems.
Russian publication Kommersant reported that military-technical cooperation is one of the most anticipated topic of the talks during Saudi King Salman’s visit who arrived in Moscow today at the head of a large delegation.
Quoting unnamed sources Kommersant said there are no plans to sign any contracts, but if the necessary agreements are reached at the meeting, pre-contract negotiations might begin.
Moscow has been trying to enter the Saudi arms market for 10 years. The parties discussed contract packages of up to $20 bln, but it never panned out, the publication said.
Saudi wants to be not just a buyer of military equipment but also a manufacturing and servicing partner. It has entered into a deal with Ukraine to manufacture its AN-130 in Saudi Arabia and expects similar deals with other countries.
With the performance of Russian weapons coming in for praise in Syria, Saudi Arabia could be looking beyond its long traditional procurement sources of the US and Western Europe.