Russia and Saudi Arabia singed an agreement on military - technical cooperation. Signatures under the document were put by the chapter of Federal service on military - technical cooperation Michael Dmitriev and the secretary general of National Security Council of Saudi Arabia Bandar ben Sultan in the presence of the prime minister of Russia Vladimir Putin, informs state agency RIA "News".
From editorial board: It seems, it is necessary to stop admiring "successes" of Russia in the field of trade in arms and to look soberly whom and for what purpose we sell. Whether the profit from these contracts pays back possible risks of that our weapon will be turned against us.
A lot has been already written and spoken that sales volumes of arms of the Russian Federation repeatedly exceed volumes of purchases by own Russian army. Moreover, a number of samples of the newest Russian arms going on export are absent in the Russian army itself. There appeared a practice of acceptance of individual sample of military technical equipment on trial which then would go on export, while armies actually wouldn't receive anything. As a result the arms of own army of the Russian Federation frequently lags behind in relation of quality from the arms of our nearest neighbours supplied by the Russian military - industrial complex. Even Georgia has battle-planes Su-25 "Scorpion" essentially exceeding on its parameters "primogenitor", the Russian army has no similar model.
However in relation to Saudi Arabia, the strategic partner of the USA in the Near-Eastern region, similar actions are not simply dangerous but are obviously reckless.
Wahhabism is an official ideology in Saudi Arabia, officially forbidden in the Russian Federation. It is widely known about support by this state of the radical armed formations of Islamites struggled against the USSR in Afghanistan - it was Saudi Arabia that was the largest supplier of arms and other military - technical help to the Afghani mojaheds. The role of Saudi Arabia in a number of other conflicts already in territory of the former USSR and Northern Caucasus is also known. Saudi Arabia - is a native land of Osama bin Laden, the majority of terrorists ramming the World Trade Center on September, 11, a number of field commanders and known hirelings on Caucasus.
The political mode in Saudi Arabia in no way can be named democratic - the ruling in this country Saud dynasty is not even constitutional monarchy. The state system of Saudi Arabia is defined by the Base Governmental Document accepted in 1992. According to it Saudi Arabia is absolute monarchy controlled by the sons and grandsons of the first king Abdelja Aziz. It's the only state in the world which name is formed directly from a surname of a ruling dynasty. Koran is the constitution of Saudi Arabia (thus many experts on Islam consider monarchist system the direct contradiction to Koran). The law is based on the Islamic right. The legislature is submitted as some similarity of a parliament - Advisory Assembly (ķajlis ash-Shura). All 150 members (exclusively men) of Advisory Assembly are appointed by king for the term of four years. Political parties are absent. The judicial authority is represented by a system of religious courts where judges are appointed by king on presentation of the Supreme judicial council. The Supreme judicial council in its turn consists of 12 persons, also appointed by king. Even bodies of local authorities till 2005 were not elected but appointed. From the point of view of the rights and freedom of the person Saudi Arabia is one of the most adverse states. Sheriyat is used as the criminal code in kingdom. The law forbids oral or written discussions of the existing political mode. Infringement of canons of Islam is severely punished. Larceny, drugs, alcohol taking and smuggling are punished with amputation of extremities. Illegitimate sexual relations are flogged. Saudi Arabia - the unique state in the world where beheading is the supreme penalty.
There is no churches in Saudi Arabia though from 500 thousand up to 1 million Catholics live there. Religious police (muttava) operates in the country. Soldiers of Islamic guards constantly patrol the streets and public institutions aiming to suppress attempts of infringement of Islam canons. In case of detection of infringement the guilty bears corresponding punishment (from penalty up to beheading).
New friends of prime-minister Putin and successes of his foreign policy amazes.
Thus it is impossible to say that the new agreement will somehow weaken influence on Saudi Arabia from the part of the USA and will strengthen a role of Russia. It is more likely that we shall see the weapon of the Russian manufacture on those battlefields where it will be directed against Russia or its allies. In particular, in the same Chechen Republic where, no matter how you treat Ramzan Kadyrov and his orders, the policy which is carried out has proRussian character, they will meet the news about deliveries of the Russian arms to Wahhabist state with anxiety.
Military power of Saudi Arabia is rather significant, comparable with the Turkish or Iranian one. 224500 people serve in the armed forces of the kingdom. Service is - contract one. Foreign hirelings are involved into military service. Saudi Arabia enters the first ten countries on volumes of financing of armed forces in the world, in 2006 military budget made 31,255 billion US dollars - 10% from gross national product. Mobilization reserves - 5,9 million people.
There are 40 Chinese ballistic missiles Dunfen-3 with range up to 2800 kilometers in the inventory of rocket armies of Saudi Arabia, that is southern borders of the CIS are in a zone of their direct reach.
We hope that new Putin's agreement does not assume at least cooperation with Saudi Arabia in nuclear sphere?
Anatoly Baranov, editor-in-chief of FORUM.msk