The deal came amid a visit to Russia by Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, who met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg on Thursday.
According to Rosatom, the state-run Russia nuclear body, the deal is the “first in the history of Russia-Saudi relations” and includes the “construction of nuclear power reactors, provision of services in nuclear fuel cycling, including those for nuclear power stations and research reactor facilities,” Russia Today reported.
The world’s biggest oil producer, Saudi Arabia currently has no industrial nuclear power plants.
The move by the two nations comes as Saudi Arabia, along with several other Arab Gulf states and Israel, have expressed deep concern about the Iranian nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 (U.S., U.K., France, Russia, China and Germany) world powers. Many analysts fear that the deal would force many countries in the Middle East to develop their own nuclear programs and possibly set off a nuclear arms race in the region.