Saudi Arabia-Russia partnership takes shape

Saudi Arabian King Salman and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands at a G20 summit in Turkey
Antalya, Turkey, Nov. 16, 2015: King Salman of Saudi Arabia and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands as they meet on the sidelines of a G20 summit (source: dpa)
  • Saudi Arabia has lost confidence that the U.S. will continue to guarantee its security; this provides an opening for Russo-Saudi relations
  • Moscow and Riyadh stand on opposite sides of some important geopolitical issues, but there are signs of a convergence – especially on Syria
  • Both countries have an interest in supporting the current Egyptian regime and containing Iran
For decades, Saudi Arabia has relied on the United States to guarantee its security. In return it has offered a dependable supply of oil, a lucrative market for American investment and support for U.S. monetary policy. Now, however, the Saudis have lost faith in Washington’s commitment to them. This has provided an opening for closer relations between Riyadh and Moscow. Three broad themes characterize the new relationship: oil prices, conflicts in the Middle East and the Iran nuclear deal.

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