Russian Federation proposed to Saudi Arabia to start cooperation in development of hydrogen energy

25 May 2021

Russia has offered Saudi Arabia to start cooperation in hydrogen production as well as electricity storage, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said at a meeting of the intergovernmental commission of Russia and Saudi Arabia.

"We consider it important to develop cooperation in technology and investment, including hydrogen energy. In this regard, we have a proposal to create a working group on the development of hydrogen energy and the development of energy storage technologies," he said.

Novak added that Russia and Saudi Arabia have great prospects for cooperation in pharmaceutics, medical equipment, desalination of water, creation of industrial and transport infrastructure, innovative technologies, as well as in urban planning.

According to him, cooperation between Russia and Saudi Arabia has good results in the field of agriculture. Cooperation is developing in terms of mutual access of livestock products of the two countries, in particular negotiations on access of Russian fish to the market of Saudi Arabia. The Deputy Prime Minister also thanked the Saudi side for the permission to import wheat, as well as for lifting a number of restrictions on dairy products and honey.

Nuclear power

Novak noted that Russia offers Saudi Arabia cooperation in nuclear power in third countries, including in the design of nuclear power plants (NPPs) with small capacity reactors.

"Another promising direction is cooperation in the field of low-power reactors. This is a new direction, we propose here joint work of forming Russian-Saudi partnership to finalize the project of NPP with the capacity of 600 MW and its further promotion in the market of third countries," Novak said.

He reminded that Russia has competencies in the construction of small units for floating and ground-based nuclear power plants and the country is ready to provide corresponding proposals to Saudi Arabia in this direction if there is interest.

Rosatom is also currently participating in a tender for the construction of a large capacity nuclear power plant in Saudi Arabia. The state corporation has passed the first stages of the selection process, forming its proposal. "We are ready to continue participating in all tender procedures," Novak stressed.

Saudi Arabia is looking for a company to build two units of the country's first nuclear power plant. In February 2018, Rosatom submitted an application to participate in the tender for the construction of two nuclear power units. In addition to Rosatom, companies from the United States, China, South Korea, and France became bidders for the construction of large-capacity nuclear power plants.

Increase in trade turnover

According to Novak, Russia and Saudi Arabia aim to increase trade turnover to $5 billion by 2024 through the liberalization of mutual trade and preferences.

"The main reference point for us is the goal to bring the volume of trade turnover between our countries to $5 billion by 2024," he said. - "Liberalization of bilateral trade as well as the creation of preferential treatment in trade between our countries could become an important step for that".

According to the Deputy Prime Minister, first of all, it is about an agreement on free trade between the Eurasian Economic Union and the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Persian Gulf.

Novak also noted that the implementation of the tasks of comprehensive increase and diversification of economic cooperation between the two countries is intended to contribute to the adopted program of Russian-Saudi high-level strategic cooperation. "And as of today, a road map for the implementation of this program has been agreed upon. We will approve it today by the final protocol," the deputy prime minister added.

Sputnik V deliveries

Novak said that Russia is waiting for the registration of the Sputnik V vaccine in Saudi Arabia and is ready to start deliveries as soon as this procedure is passed.


"The vaccine has proven itself in the fight against COVID-19, it is registered in more than 66 countries. Therefore, we look forward to your support in registering the vaccine in Saudi Arabia and in determining the necessary for the Kingdom volume of supplies needed. Already now we are ready to conclude relevant contracts, which could come into force immediately after the registration procedure," he said, referring to the co-chairman of the commission, the Minister of Energy of Saudi Arabia Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud.

Russia is the first country in the world to register a vaccine against coronavirus. The flagship vaccine, Sputnik V, has been registered in countries accumulating about 40% of the world's population.

Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated at the G20 Summit that effective and safe vaccines should be in the public domain, accessible to all.


GSV "Russia - Islamic World"

Photo: Creative Commons

Based on materials from TASS