As major Western powers are cutting ties with Russia amid its invasion of Ukraine, Saudi Arabia appears to be doing the opposite by strengthening relations with Russia
According to the Guardian
, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prince Mohammed bin Salman – the Saudi prime minister – have a lot in common. It mentioned that both nations started wars in neighboring countries and hold significant sway over energy markets.
Proof of the deepening bond between Russia and Saudi Arabia was seen last month when Saudi diplomats secured the release of international prisoners captured during the Russia-Ukraine war. Five Britons were among the captives released from Russian custody. One British official familiar with the political dynamics between Moscow and Riyadh described the move as "a gift" from Putin to bin Salman.
"Putin wanted it to happen, and he wanted it to seem as though the Saudis had achieved this through diplomacy," the official said.
The publication recounted that back in 2016, bin Salman summoned British diplomats, including senior MI6 officers, to the Saudi capital for a meeting. The Saudi royal sought the United Kingdom's advice on how to deal with the Russian leader.
"He was fascinated by him. He seemed to admire him. He liked what he did," one of the Britons invited to the meeting told the Observer
Since that meeting, the prince has come to emulate Putin through his crackdown on dissent and establishment of a police state built on Arab nationalist foundations. This state was established and secured by controlling dissenters, co-opting oligarchs and consolidating a power base.
Bin Salman's close ties with Putin followed four years of global fallout from his security aides' assassination of journalist and dissident Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey. Now in the midst of a global comeback, the prime minister is attempting to position the oil-rich kingdom as a regional power and global mover.
Putin, bin Salman share mutual dislike of Joe Biden
The leaders of Russia and Saudi Arabia also appeared to share a mutual dislike of U.S. President Joe Biden. The American leader previously called other nations to ostracize the two countries – Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi's murder, and Russia over its attack on Ukraine.
The energy-related ties between Riyadh and Moscow were further bolstered during an Oct. 5 OPEC+ meeting in the Austrian capital of Vienna. Both countries appear likely to slash global supply
by one million to two million barrels per day, resulting in a hike in oil prices.
The decision to slash oil production is definitely bad news for Biden, who has been trying to convince the kingdom to increase petroleum output and lower prices. During a visit to the city of Jeddah last summer, he tried to request bin Salman to increase oil production – to no avail.
"Biden finds himself staring down a partner in the Middle East … as the extent of the supply crisis becomes apparent," the Guardian
"Biden walked away empty-handed and, as a result, faces the uncomfortable prospect of taking high Bowser prices to midterm elections. Perhaps more importantly for the U.S. president, a rise in oil prices could be seen as helping fund Putin's war effort." (Related: Alex Jones: Biden's policies are the direct cause of oil price hikes.
The British official familiar with the prisoners' release commented on the Moscow-Riyadh connection.
"Putin sees this as New World Order stuff, and thinks he can bring [bin Salman] along with him. [Bin Salman] knows the optics of being seen to help out Putin, but he doesn't care. Neither are progressive liberals; they see leadership through the same lens," the British official said.
"The Saudis sit on a very powerful asset in oil
, which still has a strategic role to play."
Watch this video about Saudi Arabia and Russia joining forces
against U.S. President Joe Biden.
This video is from the High Hopes channel on Brighteon.com
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