Lavrov meets with GCC FMs, says strengthening cooperation
Russia's Foreign Minister meets with his GCC counterparts and reviews the implementation of several agreements.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met on Friday with the delegation of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) on the sidelines of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly to discuss cooperation in different areas.
"We are strengthening our cooperation between Russia and the GCC. We discussed the state of affairs at a meeting in Riyadh in detail and now we will review how the agreements are being implemented," Lavrov said at the meeting.
Gulf states have remained neutral in the Ukraine war despite Western calls to help isolate Russia.
In early June, the Russian Minister was on a tour to the GCC countries where he had talks with officials of a number of Arab states, in particular discussing the situation in Ukraine and efforts aimed at achieving a peaceful resolution of the conflict and establishing stability in the region.
Lavrov affirmed that GCC countries will not join the West in imposing sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine war.
"Aspects of the international situation, which are connected with the events unfolded by the West around Ukraine, are well understood by our partners from the Gulf Cooperation Council States," Lavrov told reporters in Saudi Arabia's capital, Riyadh, after meeting with the GCC foreign ministers.
During his tour, Lavrov met with his Saudi counterpart, Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, in Riyadh, and both hailed the level of cooperation within OPEC+.
The remarks came amid reports in Western media that some members of OPEC+, an alliance of OPEC members and their allies, were considering excluding Russia from the group.
In a statement published on its website, the Russian Foreign Ministry said the two "noted the stabilizing effect that the tight cooperation between Russia and Saudi Arabia has on world markets for hydrocarbons in this strategically important sector."
Lavrov's meeting with his Saudi counterpart came days after the EU agreed to significantly reduce Russian crude imports as part of the latest sanctions imposed in response to the war in Ukraine.
In late May, Oman's Foreign Minister Sayyid Badr Al Busaidi considered that the crisis required a European solution, adding that a posture of "you are with us or against us" would not work.
Returning home empty-handed
It is noteworthy that during his last visit to Saudi Arabia in mid-July, US President Joe Biden stated that he expects further oil supply increases from the Kingdom to help tame domestic fuel costs after the visit.
However, Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan denied much of what Biden remarked, most notably about increasing oil production, asserting that Riyadh will do everything necessary to balance out the oil market and that OPEC+ will continue to assess the conditions and do whatever is necessary.
Thus, Biden returned to Washington without a commitment from the Saudis to increase oil production further.