Russia–Saudi Arabia relations

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Russia–Saudi Arabia relations
Map indicating locations of Russia and Saudi Arabia


Saudi Arabia

Russia–Saudi Arabia relations (Russian: Российско-саудовские отношения) (Arabic: العلاقات السعودية الروسية‎‎) is the relationship between the two countries, Russia and Saudi Arabia. The relations between the two countries are currently strong in military and technical cooperation.

Saudi Arabia and the Soviet Union[edit]

The first country to establish full diplomatic relations with the Kingdom of Hejaz and Nejd (the name of the Saudi state until 1932) was the Soviet Union.[1][2] The relations began in 1926.[3]

However, relations cooled later on, with Saudi Arabia closing their legation in Moscow in 1938 and refusing to reestablish relations. Diplomatic relations were only reestablished after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the establishment of the Russian Federation.[4] Despite a lack of relations, about 20 Soviet Muslims were allowed to annually make the Hajj from 1946 until 1990 when liberalization allowed thousands of Soviet Muslims to attend.[5] Relations were strained in the 1980s by Saudi support for the Mujahideen during the Soviet war in Afghanistan and the close alliance with the United States.

Saudi Arabia and Russia[edit]

Russian President Vladimir Putin met King Abdullah in Riyadh during a high level delegation visit on February 11–12, 2007. It was the first official visit for a Russian leader to the Kingdom. The visit was an opportunity for Moscow to improve its relations with Riyadh regarding various areas, including regional security issues, energy, trade, transportation, scientific cooperation and exchanges. King Abdullah's visit to Russia in 2003, as Crown Prince, was an opening in high level contacts between the countries which did not have diplomatic ties from 1938 until 1990.

After the 2008 Georgia-Russia crisis, King Abdullah said that he had the full understanding of the Russian side on the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, however, Saudi Arabia did not recognize the two regions yet.

Relations between the two countries were strained during the Syrian Civil War in which Russia supported Syrian President Bashar al-Assad while Saudi Arabia along with Qatar and Turkey supported the Syrian rebels. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev warned that if Saudi Arabia along with Turkey went forth with their invasion plans and invaded Syria, the conflict could result in a Third World War.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ismael, Tareq Y., The Communist Movement in the Arab World. New York City: RoutledgeCurzon, 2005. p. 9.
  2. ^ Al Kahtani, Mohammad Zaid (December 2004). "The Foreign Policy of King Abdulaziz" (PDF). University of Leeds. Retrieved 21 July 2013. 
  3. ^ Quandt, William B. (Autumn 1981). "Riyadh between the Superpowers". Foreign Policy (44): 37–56. JSTOR 1148544. 
  4. ^ "Saudi Arabia". The Library of Congress. December 1992. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  5. ^ Gerald Segal (1992). Openness and foreign policy reform in communist states. Routledge. p. 149. ISBN 978-0-415-08275-4. Retrieved 23 November 2009. 

External links[edit]

Diplomatic missions[edit]