Saudi King’s golden escalator breaks down as he arrives in Moscow to sign arms deals with Putin

King Salman visited Russia to sign arms deals with the Kremlin despite former tensions between the countries.

Natasha Salmon
Friday 06 October 2017 17:45
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Saudi Arabia king's golden escalator get stuck as he tries to descend from his plane in Russia

This is the slightly embarrassing moment when the king of Saudi Arabia was left stranded on his golden escalator after arriving in Russia.

King Salman stood puzzled midway down the extravagant stairway which appeared to stop working.

He waited for around 20 seconds before being helped down the escalator by aides after it became apparent it was not about to take him any further.

Following the awkward arrival, the monarch was hosted by Russian president, Vladimir Putin, who hailed his visit as a “landmark event”.

Saudi King Salman is helped down the broken escalator by aides (AP )

The leaders discussed trade deals as well as looking to strengthen the often strained relationship between the countries, most recently due to the conflict in Syria.

King Salman said he was looking to expand relations with “friendly nation” Russia “in the interests of peace, security and development of the world economy”.

He noted that the two nations agreed on many international and regional issues, and intended to continue efforts to shore up global oil prices.

Following the talks, Saudi Arabian Military Industries (Sami) said it had signed agreements with Russia's state arms trader, Rosoboronexport, for the purchase of cutting-edge Russian weapons, including the long-range S-400 air defence missile systems.

While the US has remained Saudi Arabia's top weapons supplier and its most important Western ally, Thursday's deals highlighted the country’s intention to expand ties with Russia.

The Saudis have also been eyeing Russian nuclear power technologies and appear ready to expand food imports from Russia, which is set to remain the world's biggest wheat exporter this year.

The visit comes after decades of tensions, most recently over the war in Syria, where Saudi Arabia had backed the Sunni rebels fighting to oust President Bashar Assad, while its arch-rival, Shiite powerhouse Iran, had teamed up with Russia to shore up his rule.

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