OPEC+ leader, Saudi Arabia, has advanced $400 million in aid to Ukraine. The aid comes one year after the latter was bulldozed by the Russian war machine.

The aid package includes financing of $300 million worth of oil derivatives as a grant from Saudi Arabia through the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) in favor of Ukraine, the Saudi Press Agency said. The remaining $100 million will be humanitarian assistance to Ukraine from Saudi Arabia.

An agreement and memorandum of understanding for the sum was signed yesterday during a surprise visit of Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister to Kyiv to Ukraine.

Saudi Arabia, which leads the OPEC+ oil production alliance with Russia, sent its foreign minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah to Kyiv this weekend for talks with top Ukrainian officials including President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

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The visit was the first from such a high-ranking Saudi official to Ukraine in 30 years.  “As part of the visit, two documents were signed in the president’s office formalizing the providing of a $400 million aid package to Ukraine.

“Grateful to Prince @FaisalbinFarhan for constructive dialogue and mutual understanding,” said Andriy Yermak, head of the office of the president of Ukraine.

“The minister of foreign affairs renewed the Kingdom’s keenness and support for all international efforts to resolve the Ukrainian-Russian crisis politically,” the Saudi agency reported.

The two countries agreed to deepen cooperation in the investment and energy sectors, Yermak said at a news conference – as carried by Ukrainian news outlet Ukrinform.

Saudi Arabia has refrained from publicly criticizing Russia for the invasion of Ukraine since the start of the war a year ago. The Kingdom, as the de facto leader and the largest oil producer of OPEC, is leading the OPEC+ group whose key non-OPEC member is Russia.

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However, Saudi Arabia was one of 141 countries that voted last week in favor of a non-binding United Nations General Assembly resolution calling on Russia to end hostilities and withdraw its forces from Ukraine.

By Ken Okoye

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