No longer sure of its prior close relationship with

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Unformatted text preview: so far it has failed to create convincing partnerships that could serve as the basis for cartelization. 108 Oil DDW 2012 1 Russian Oil Coalition – Expansionism 109 Last printed 9/4/2009 7:00:00 PM Oil DDW 2012 1 Saudi-Russian collaboration facilitates and green lights Russia to expand and balance the US Cohen, Ph.D., is a Research Fellow at The Heritage Foundation., 03 Ariel Cohen, Ph.D., is a Research Fellow at The Heritage Foundation., 9-10-03, [“RUSSO-SAUDI ROMANCE MAY MARGINALIZE THE CASPIAN,” Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst, http://www.cacianalyst.org/?q=node/1418] E. Liu IMPLICATIONS: The five-year oil-and-gas cooperation agreement signed in Moscow by the two energy ministers, Igor Yusufov and Ali al Naimi, will allow the two fuel giants to coordinate the supply of oil to the global markets. This will doubtless help them keep the oil price at a level desirable to both. But in addition to obvious mutual interests in the energy sector , there are reasons beyond influence in energy markets, which drive the Russo-Saudi relations. No longer sure of its prior close relationship with Washington, the Saudi monarchy is reaching out to the former empire it helped America to defeat in Afghanistan only 15 years ago. In the aftermath of the Iraq war, Riyadh is looking to balance U.S. influence in the Persian Gulf. It also hopes to diversify its sources of weapons, and signals to Washington that it keeps all geopolitical options open. Russia, the world’s third largest weapons exporter after the U.S. and Great Britain, leads the word in the number of large weapons systems, like tanks and aircraft, sold. Its military sales topped $6 billion in 2002, according to the Stockholm-based International Peace Research Institute. In the 1990s, Russia sold $4 billion worth of stateof-the-art multi-layer air defense systems to the United Arab Emirates, and would like to open the large and lucrative Saudi weapons market to its rusting, but once-formidable arms industry. CONCLUSIONS: Russia’s improved ties with Saudi Arabia and other Islamic states will give Moscow ever-increasing freedom of maneuver in the Caucasus and Central Asia. If the Islamic world mutes its criticism of Moscow’s policy in Chechnya, some in the Kremlin may interpret it as a n implicit green light to neo-imperial behavior in the former imperial space. Dr. Sergey Karaganov, the Chairman of the Russian Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, and a consultant to the Russian government, was instrumental in bringing Prince Abdullah to Moscow. Karaganov says that the visit was “very productive”. This means Saudi-Russian cooperation both on energy and on Chechnya. Karaganov, however, is known as an advocate of a more robust Russian policies toward Georgia and Azerbaijan. His buoyancy on the Saudi-Russian ties may indicate a “new thinking” in the Kremlin: to make Russia indispensable to the U.S., Iran, as well as to Saudi Arabia, and in turn demanding their acquiescence to Russia’s assertive policies in the...
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