Saudi Arabia, Russia coordinate positions
    International events on Caliber.Az

    ANALYTICS  10 December 2023 - 13:15

    Mikhail Shereshevskiy
    Caliber.Az

    Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to the UAE and Saudi Arabia has attracted international media outlets’ attention. What goals did the Kremlin pursue? Why are these meetings important for the Saudi leadership and the Emirati authorities?

    The media outlets disseminate cautious comments that the sides discussed the continuation of investment cooperation, the situation in the energy market and cooperation in OPEC+. However, important events are hidden behind these vague discussions.

    First, the Kremlin needs to demonstrate that it is not in international isolation. According to Forbes, “after the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague issued an arrest warrant for President Putin in March 2023, any foreign trip of the Russian president becomes an event”. The Russian leader's lavish meeting and talks with the leaders of the two most powerful and richest Gulf Arab states should highlight the Kremlin's international significance.

    Secondly, the aspect related to energy is also important. The agreements were reached between Russia and Saudi Arabia before the visit to reduce oil production. These deals have been agreed upon with OPEC+ countries. Saudi Arabia will continue reducing supplies by one million barrels per day in early 2024, while Russia will reduce export by 200,000 barrels per day. Such transactions bring the sides profit worth billions of dollars. However, these agreements create a problem for their participants. The high cost of oil enriches the US oil companies, including those involved in the development of shale oil (66 per cent of the US market). Having received additional financial support thanks to high prices, high-tech US shale companies are increasing investments in new technologies, thereby reducing their costs and increasing production. This factor increases competition in the oil market and potentially threatens US and Gulf producers.

    There is another aspect of the energy cooperation. The UAE and Saudi Arabia buy Russian oil at a price with big discounts and then resell it and gain a huge profit. Crude oil purchased at a discount is re-exported, undermining Western anti-Russian sanctions. Although Russia is losing billions of dollars due to sanctions, it is demonstrating the humiliation of the West, which is currently unable to stop its oil export.

    Thirdly, the UAE and, in the future, perhaps Saudi Arabia, are important for Russia as a convenient platform for investors and for circumventing Western sanctions. Russia's trade turnover with the UAE increased by 68 per cent in 2022, reaching $9 billion, and continues increasing rapidly. Like Türkiye, the UAE are becoming a safe country for Russia’s capital in its attempt to avoid sanctions, a platform for various financial and trade transactions. Moreover, the UAE is a major investor in the Russian economy. The investments in the non-oil sector have grown by 103 per cent over the past year. Trade turnover with Saudi Arabia is rather less, reaching only about $1.5 billion.

    As for Saudi Arabia and UAE, besides economic benefits, cooperation with Russia gives them additional political advantages. Both countries repeat the foreign policy of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, pursuing a balanced policy.

    US President Joe Biden has repeatedly verbally attacked Saudi Arabia's de facto leader, Prince Mohamed bin Salman, accusing him of killing opposition journalist Jamal Khashoggi and threatening to cut off supply of weapons. The US also imposed sanctions on Türkiye after it acquired Russian S-400 missile systems, removing it from the F-35 fighter jet production and acquisition programme.

    However, Ankara's rapprochement with Moscow, including the growing economic partnership (trade turnover between Türkiye and Russia has increased by more than twofold over the past two years, amounting to $70 billion), has forced Washington to correct its policy, and today the US is discussing the supply of other new aircraft to Türkiye - F-16 Block 70\72.

    The rapprochement of Saudi Arabia and the UAE with the US geopolitical opponents, namely, Russia and China, forced the Biden administration to change its attitude. When Saudi Arabia began to strengthen its economic partnership with Moscow, it refused to comply with the US demand to increase oil production, because it was not interested in reducing its cost. Moreover, Riyadh restored diplomatic relations with the US's enemy - Iran through China’s mediation.

    Then the US attitude changed. Now Washington is offering Riyadh a huge deal that includes bilateral diplomatic recognition of Saudi Arabia and Israel through the US mediation, the creation, with US help, of new transport infrastructure (ports and railways) worth $17 billion that will connect Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Israel and, simultaneously with India and the EU, supplies of the latest weapons and assistance in the development of civil nuclear energy.

    Therefore, Saudi Arabia and the UAE will continue pursuing their multi-vector policy. Amid rivalry among the countries, it is possible to say to their rulers “we are ready to be friends with you, but if you put pressure on us, we will come up with similar proposals to your competitors. Therefore, be extremely polite and careful with us, take our interests into account”.

    Caliber.Az

    Subscribe to our Telegram channel


Read also

Azerbaijan, EU forge stronger ties Education, energy, and diplomatic frontiers explored

02 March 2024 - 17:13

African nations struggle to escape the shadow of French colonial rule The dawn of a decadent empire

02 March 2024 - 17:50

Azerbaijan explores new frontiers in its foreign policy landscape Opinion by Modern Diplomacy

02 March 2024 - 15:34

The Economist: Azerbaijan racing to rebuild Karabakh

02 March 2024 - 13:49

Regional transit in focus as Azerbaijan, Iran move closer Analysis by Amwaj

02 March 2024 - 11:38

Türkiye's military might set for significant boost US greenlights F-16 sale

01 March 2024 - 15:45
ADVERTS
Video
Latest news

    Israel's wartime Cabinet rattled by dispute between Netanyahu, his top political rival

    04 March 2024 - 05:48

    Iranian singer sentenced to jail over Mahsa Amini protest anthem

    04 March 2024 - 03:59

    Intrigue swirls about possible reshuffles as China’s parliament convenes

    04 March 2024 - 02:04

    Two babies among 10 killed as Russia hits Odesa apartment block

    04 March 2024 - 00:12

    Spanish newspaper unveils consequences of Trump's possible election for Europe

    03 March 2024 - 22:01

    Global markets on edge as China initiates "second wave" of exports

    03 March 2024 - 19:56

    Malaysia may renew hunt for missing flight MH370, 10 years after its disappearance

    03 March 2024 - 18:30

    Iranian president holds talks with foreign leaders in Algeria

    03 March 2024 - 18:06

    Iraqi FM highlights Türkiye-Iraq development road as transformative project

    03 March 2024 - 17:54

    Tragic bus accident claims 6 lives in Syria

    03 March 2024 - 17:44

    Militants kill 170 people in northern Burkina Faso

    03 March 2024 - 17:35

    Hamas: Truce agreement with Israel possible within 24-48 hours

    03 March 2024 - 17:30

    Cypriot president seeks to enhance relations with Azerbaijan in digital age

    03 March 2024 - 17:17

    German chancellor vows probe into very serious leak of army talks on Ukraine war

    03 March 2024 - 16:58

    US official: Israel agrees to framework for Gaza ceasefire

    03 March 2024 - 16:43

    Torrential rains wreak havoc across Pakistan

    37 dead, dozens injured

    03 March 2024 - 16:34

    Türkiye announces coordination with Azerbaijan on border opening with Armenia

    "Fair behavior of Armenia is key"

    03 March 2024 - 16:32

    Türkiye hopes Ukraine ceasefire talks can start soon

    03 March 2024 - 16:22

    Turkish, Russian FMs discuss Caucasus peace process

    03 March 2024 - 16:11

    "Armenian-planted mines still pose serious threat"

    Statement by Azerbaijani MFA

    03 March 2024 - 16:05

    Officials: Russia intercepts 38 Ukrainian drones attacking Crimea

    03 March 2024 - 15:54

    Berlin police arrest two in manhunt linked to far-left RAF terror group

    03 March 2024 - 15:36

    Ambassador: Zangezur corridor can be vital in strengthening trust between Azerbaijan, Armenia

    03 March 2024 - 15:17

    Hungarian minister: Sending troops to Ukraine violates NATO’s decision

    03 March 2024 - 15:15

    Iran, Russia enhance energy cooperation

    New contracts on oil & gas fields

    03 March 2024 - 15:00

    Japan boosts international military drills amid regional tensions

    03 March 2024 - 14:42

    Azerbaijani man injured in Agdam landmine blast undergoing surgery in Barda

    His condition is severe/UPDATED

    03 March 2024 - 14:39

    Pakistan appoints new prime minister

    03 March 2024 - 14:24

    Azerbaijan, Algeria discuss expansion of cooperation between SOCAR, Sonatrach

    03 March 2024 - 14:04

    Iran asks Sudan to build permanent naval base in Red Sea

    03 March 2024 - 13:45

    Azerbaijan urges German organisations to cancel biased, pro-Armenian propaganda event

    03 March 2024 - 13:26

    Ship sunk by Houthis threatens Red Sea environment

    03 March 2024 - 13:05

    Korea's first spy satellite transmits good-resolution images of central Pyongyang

    03 March 2024 - 12:29

    Mass grave in Khojaly reveals remains of 14 Azerbaijanis tortured by Armenians

    Sombre realities of the past

    03 March 2024 - 12:14

    Israeli airstrikes kill 14 Palestinians in Rafah

    Including six children

    03 March 2024 - 11:58

    EU top diplomat urges probe of civilians killed by Israeli fire at Gaza aid station

    03 March 2024 - 11:39

    Hungarian minister: Turkish Stream – alternative after cessation of gas transit via Ukraine

    03 March 2024 - 11:25

    Trump blames Biden for weakening US globally

    03 March 2024 - 11:16

    Lithuania warns of confiscation of cars with Russian license plates

    03 March 2024 - 10:59

    Azerbaijani FM, foreign diplomats discuss multifaceted cooperation at Antalya Diplomacy Forum

    03 March 2024 - 10:44

All news