Crossfire War – Moscow – Berlin – Washington Watch – Eurasia Theatre: Moscow – Berlin -Washington/Tbilisi – Baku – Ankara – Tehran – Riyadh; Russia’s Economic Move South – Pres. Putin Arrives in Riyadh for Two Day Visit – Indications of Moscow’s Growing Presence in Regional Affairs – Replacing the West
Night Watch: RIYADH – As a sign of Moscow’s growing economic presence in Saudi Arabia and West Asia’s (Middle East) economy, Russia President Vladimir Putin has just arrived in Riyadh for a two day visit. He will meet Saudi King Abdullah and Crown Prince Sultan and will sign economic and banking agreements.
This will bring the world’s two largest crude oil producers in closer cooperation that will increase even more after the war, mainly against Tehran, is over. The House of Saud, like Tehran, is also aware the Jihad will run its course this year, but afterward relations will have to be restored with a major power outside the region. Since relations between the Islamic world and Russia are not quite as hostile as their relations with the West or India, then Russia will be acknowledged as the most important non-Islamic government to have serious relations with in the post-war world. [RIA]
That is of course a major disappointment to Beijing, but with so much corruption fragmenting China and the Central Government’s authority, there is no guarantee that in a year’s time, Beijing will still be acknowledged as the capital of China.
The Islamic world, including Saudi Arabia, will always be extremely grateful to Beijing for its massive military-technological assistance that provided them with nuclear-ballistic missile technology, in Riyadh’s case the 50-60 CSS-2 medium range ballistic missile and its 2,500 mile (4,000 km) range – but after the war, Islamic countries would have recognized Russia’s new international prominence as a result of Moscow’s decisive victories in the South Caucasus through Georgia and if need be Azerbaijan, just north of Iran. Riyadh-Ankara-Tehran know fighting in the North Cacuasus, which began again in 1999, is virtually over due to Russia’s improved performance under a more reliable administration led by President Putin.
The House of Saud may also know that with most of Moscow’s hard currency sitll coming from the West, especially Berlin, then Moscow is now prepared to become the West’s main vehicle for access to the region’s resources. This is Moscow’s, Western financed, economic move south. RIA reports that in January 2004, Russia’s leading private crude oil producer, Lukoil was awarded a tender to develop 11,200 square miles (29,000 square km) of Block A natural gas field in the Saudi Arabian desert of Rub el Hali. Lukoil has also signed a 40 year contract with the House of Saud for further explorations and development of natural gas deposits. Russia energy concern Gazprom is also investigating potential projects.
The post-World War III world and its spheres of influence is very obviously taking shape.