Manama: Kuwait and Russia have boosted their bilateral relations and cooperation by signing agreements and memoranda of understanding.

The accords were signed in the Black Sea city of Sochi where Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Emir of Kuwait Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah held official talks.

The two leaders discussed ways to develop their relations in all fields, as well as the latest regional and international developments, primarily the Middle East and anti-terrorism efforts, Kuwait News Agency (Kuna) reported.

“The talks focused on ways and means of promoting the economic, investment, oil and military cooperation, reflecting the depth of friendship and size of mutual interests between both sides. The talks were held in a friendly atmosphere that reflected mutual understanding and friendship, with both sides voicing willingness to develop bilateral relations up to the level that fulfills the ambitions of the two friendly peoples,” the official news agency said.

Shaikh Sabah offered his “heartfelt and sincere condolences” to Putin for the victims of the recent Russian passenger plane crash in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.

According to the Russian news agency TASS, Putin started the meeting by discussing the situation in the Middle East and describing it as rather difficult.

“We are very glad to have an opportunity to meet with you and talk about our bilateral relations and about the situation in the region with you and your colleagues,” Putin said adding that “the situation in the region is not easy, some can even say difficult”. The Russian news agency reported.

The president noted that Russia knows the Kuwaiti leader very well as he has long served as the country’s Foreign Minister. “However, this is your first visit to our country as the head of state, and we are very happy about it,” Putin said.

The bilateral accords signed on Tuesday in the presence of Shaikh Sabah and Putin included an agreement between the two governments for the exemption of entry visa for holders of diplomatic, special and service passports, signed by First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Shaikh Sabah Al Khalid Al Hamad Al Sabah and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.

Shaikh Sabah Al Khalid also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Russian Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky for cultural and artistic cooperation between Kuwait’s National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters (NCCAL) and the Russian Ministry of Culture, Kuna said.

A cooperation MoU between the Kuwaiti Ministry of Communications and the Russian Ministry of Transportation was signed by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Anas Khalid Al Saleh and Russia’s Minister of Transportation Maksim Sokolov.

A statement of intent was signed between the Kuwaiti Ministry of Defence and the Russian firm Rosoboronexport for military equipment. Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Shaikh Khalid Al Jarrah Al Sabah signed the statement with Rosoboronexport’s Director General Anatoly Isaikin.

CEO of the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) Nizar Al Adsani signed a MoU with Chairman of Russia’s Gazprom Board of Directors Alexey Miller for cooperation between both firms.

A joint investment MoU was signed between the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) and the Russian Direct Investment Fund. It was inked by KIA Managing Director Bader Al Sa’ad and Director of the Russian fund Kirill Dmitriev.