Saudi Arabia, Russia near huge arms deal
14 July, 2017
Riyadh and Moscow have signed a preliminary agreement on military cooperation worth $3.5bn, Sergey Chemezov, president of the Russian state company Rostec Corporation said last week. In the same statement, cited by TASS, he indicated that there are Saudi conditions for its implementation. "The Saudis stipulated that it will take effect on condition to provide them with transfer of technology and to start manufacturing in the Kingdom," noted Chemezov, who reminded that five years ago deals worth a total of $20bn were struck with Saudi Arabia only to remain on paper. At the time, Riyadh attempted to pressure Moscow not to sell Iran S-300 missile systems. The contract with Iran was to the tune of $1bn.
The head of Rostec also told the Russian daily Kommersant that the Saudis constantly inquired about the mobile missile system Iskander. However, it is on the list of arms banned for export and Chemezov says that Moscow “has no intention of making an exception”.
According to Kommersant, Moscow is hoping to get a measure of how serious the Saudi intentions are after the upcoming official visit of King Salman Al Saud to Russia, planned to happen by the end of the year.