MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit Saudi Arabia, where he is set to seal oil agreements as well as use his influence to defuse rising tensions in the Gulf. The meeting with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman comes following attacks on Saudi oil installations that Riyadh and the US have blamed on Iran, an ally of Moscow. Oil will be “the main topic of discussion” between the leaders, Russian political analyst Fydor Lukyanov said, as a deal between the 24 members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is due to expire next spring. Russia is not a member of OPEC, headed by Saudi Arabia, but it has worked closely with the group to limit supply and push up prices after a 2014 slump that badly hit the Russian economy. Moscow and Riyadh — a traditional ally of Washington — have made a striking rapprochement in recent years, marked in particular by King Salman’s first visit to Russia in October 2017. A year later, when Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was under fire after the assassination of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey, Vladimir Putin went out of his way to shake his hand at a G20 summit, to much comment.