Tuesday 17 October 2017

WATCH: Saudi King Salman's golden escalator breaks down as disembarks from plane in Russia

King Salman in Moscow to sign $3bn arms deal

Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud gets off the plane upon his arrival at Moscow's Vnukovo Airport on October 4, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Alexander NEMENOVALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images
Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud gets off the plane upon his arrival at Moscow's Vnukovo Airport on October 4, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Alexander NEMENOVALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images
Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud gets off the plane upon his arrival at Moscow's Vnukovo Airport on October 4, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Alexander NEMENOVALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images
Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud gets off the plane upon his arrival at Moscow's Vnukovo Airport on October 4, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Alexander NEMENOVALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images
Denise Calnan

Denise Calnan

Don't you just hate it when the golden escalator on your plane gets stuck?

King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud is on his first state visit to Russia, and has caused quite a stir since he arrived.

His faulty golden aircraft escalator meant he had to walk down the steps of his plane, and his reported 1,500-strong Saudi entourage angered Moscow's elite by taking over all the city's 5-star hotels.

The Saudi king was met by a guard of honour and the Preobrazhensky military orchestra, before he was chauffeured along the highway which was specially lined with billboards advertising the visit and a week-long festival of Saudi culture.

Before the visit, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov described the event as "an historical moment". King Salman paid back the compliments by saying Russia was a "friendly country".

And the fanfare paid off for Russia.

According to the Kommersant newspaper, Salman and Putin reached an agreement on a $3bn (€2.57bn) arms deal to supply the Saudis with Russia’s most advanced air defence missile system, the S400 Triumph.

The deal is expected to be signed off at a WTO meeting at the end of October. And there may be more deals to come.

Russia can still claim to be a world leader in the realm of defence, with over a fifth of all arms deals in 2016.

But now, Russia are looking to open new markets after their biggest partners, China and India, look to move towards military self-sufficiency.

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