LONDON – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson underscored on Wednesday the need for countries to work together “to improve energy security and reduce reliance on Russian hydrocarbons”.
Meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh, Johnson sets out "the UK’s view that we are facing a fundamentally changed world order following (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.”
Johnson and bin Salman “agreed to collaborate to maintain stability in the energy market and continue the transition to renewable and clean technology,” according to a UK government statement.
“They also committed to boost cooperation in defense, security, trade, and culture, welcoming a new UK-Saudi Strategic Partnership Agreement and a major investment announced today by the alfanar group in green aviation fuel in Teesside,” it added.
The British premier “praised progress against Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, including on women’s empowerment and employment, but raised the UK’s concerns about ongoing human rights issues.”
The leaders also discussed key regional issues, the statement added.
Johnson was on a one-day visit to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia amid plans to reduce dependency on Russian energy resources.
The UK, alongside its Western allies, has vowed to decrease its dependency on Russian fossil fuels after its “brutal and unjustified” attack on Ukraine.
The war in Ukraine has continued for the past three weeks and the Western countries have so far introduced unprecedented sanctions targeting the Russian economy.
Ahead of his trip, Johnson said the world needed to “avoid being blackmailed by Putin in the way that so many Western countries sadly have been.” (Anadolu)