Sergey Levin, Russia’s deputy minister of agriculture, revealed an approach to develop cooperation and reinforce chances of agricultural and food integration between Moscow and Riyadh.
He revealed that he discussed with his Saudi counterpart signing agreements and memorandums of understanding to achieve a higher level of strategic cooperation.
Levin affirmed to Asharq Al-Awsat that Russia and Saudi Arabia agreed to hold a possible five to seven-day exhibition for food and agriculture as soon as possible.
He continued that prime Russian companies operating in this field will arrive in Riyadh to present their products and distribute them on potential clients in the kingdom.
“We are currently in the first steps towards the development of cooperation between the two countries, but the potentials are available in case the political will was present on the level of Saudi and Russian governments,” he said.
“Apercentage of 50 of Russian land is viable for farming. The country has 10 percent of the fresh water in the world -- it has a population of 244 million, 38 million of them residing in agricultural lands, which is amounts to seven percent of the Russian population,” said Levin.
Russia adopts a policy of self-sufficiency and exports a number of agricultural products, knowing that agricultural production comes second after oil and gas in its economy.
Furthermore, Levin underlined the importance of halal products, noting that there are 25 million Muslims in Russia.
According to the Russian official, these factors promote developing the sector, noting that Russia is capable of increasing its agricultural production in a short period of time. Levin admitted however that there are some challenges facing integration.