The expert assessed the prospects for military cooperation between Russia and Saudi Arabia


In matters of military-technical cooperation between Russia and Saudi Arabia, only a careful discussion without major changes is possible so far. This was announced on January 12 to Izvestia by Dmitry Solonnikov, director of the Institute for Contemporary State Development.

“While the joint commission is working, there is rather a discussion of what can be done in this situation. Saudi Arabia is so far completely focused on the United States in terms of training and technical equipment of its armed forces. These are missiles, and aviation, and missile defense, and small arms and heavy weapons. These are all NATO standards so far,” he said.

According to him, replacing one element in the weapons system with Russian or Chinese will be a big problem, since the new weapon will not be combined with the old one. He noted that Turkey and Greece had already encountered this when they bought the S-300 anti-aircraft missile system (SAM) from Russia.

“The problem is complex, it has not been solved yet. There is only discussion in terms of what can be proposed in this situation. We saw the military-technical cooperation between Russia and Turkey, which bought the S-300 complex and that’s it. The complex was brought in, whether it was put into service is not clear, the question is how to operate it. The same is with Greece, where the same complex was bought, it was delivered and is no longer used in any way, ”the expert pointed out.

Solonnikov noted that the countries that are integrated into the Western bloc’s weapons system are very carefully revising military-technical cooperation and changing it to Russian.

“It is practically impossible for the missiles to be Russian and the rest to be American. Discussions will be held, negotiations will take place, but very carefully, no major changes should be expected in the near future. For the time being, Saudi Arabia will not go for a global exit from cooperation with the United States, ”he concluded.

Earlier on February 12, Russian Ambassador to Riyadh Sergei Kozlov said that the countries had stepped up work to expand military-technical cooperation. The Saudis are looking for new partners in connection with Washington’s threats to revise relations with Saudi Arabia, including in the military aspect.

On October 12, US President Joe Biden said he was taking action against Saudi Arabia following the OPEC+ decision to cut oil production as it shows Saudi Arabia is aligning its energy policy with Russia.

Riyadh denied Washington’s accusations that it supports Moscow while Western countries intend to reduce dependence on energy resources from the Russian Federation.


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