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Vladimir Putin and Salman of Saudi Arabia
Today President Donald Trump has acknowledged it “certainly looks” as though missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is dead, and he threatened “very severe” consequences if the Saudis are found to have murdered him, reported Associated Press.
While the Americans look to be possibly distancing themselves from their important ally in the Gulf, the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Russian president just made it clear he is all too willing to pick up the pieces if Trump decides to do so.
President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Russia did not have enough information about the unexplained disappearance of a Saudi journalist to justify spoiling ties with Riyadh, reported Reuters.
Putin’s take is hardly surprising: Russia’s work with OPEC, which created a new Russia-Saudi axis to help manage global oil production and push up prices, has helped revive the Russian economy (while angering President Trump). Of course, Russia would be overjoyed to step in to any void left by the US if lawmakers force a rupture in the US-Saudi relationship, as evidenced by the recent agreement to sell Russian S-400 missiles to the Saudis. Two weeks ago, Putin criticized the US and its sanctions against Russia, Iran and others, saying the US was “making a colossal mistake” and risked undermining the dollar in its role as the global reserve currency, wrote Zero Hedge.
The American media is pushing the Trump administration to do just that, abandon the kingdom as any ally and its role as a hedge against a rising, terrorist, Iran.