Sunday, 23 September, 2018

Kremlin Says Saudi Talks on S-400 Missile Systems on Track

Kim Jong-un GETTYNorth Korea has fired two rockets over Japanese territory this year
Melissa Porter | 10 October, 2017, 15:18

"THAAD's exo-atmospheric, hit-to-kill capability will add an upper-tier to Saudi Arabia's layered missile defence architecture".

Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted Saudi Arabia's King Salman for talks at the Kremlin last week, cementing a relationship that is pivotal for world oil prices and could decide the outcome of the conflict in Syria.

The Kremlin said on Monday that talks with Saudi Arabia over Moscow supplying Riyadh with advanced S-400 air defense missile systems had gone well from Russia's point of view so far.

Russia and Saudi Arabia have agreed on supplies of S-400 missile systems, the press service of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation told the largest Russian news agency, and the fourth largest worldwide, TASS reported.

It is expected the sale will beef-up security in the nuclear-hungry Middle East.

Prompted by Iran's threats to the Gulf region, the U.S. has reportedly approved the sale of THAAD anti-missile defence system to Saudi Arabia at an estimated cost of United States dollars 15 billion, the Pentagon said on Friday.

Among the deals was an agreement between Russian sovereign wealth fund RDIF and Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund to invest up to $100 million in transport projects in Russia.

"The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region", it said.

Minister of culture and information Dr Awwad Al-Awwad said the office would open by the end of January 2018 and offer bilingual communications, according to Saudi Gazette.

Thaad systems are being deployed in South Korea to protect against a possible missile attack from North Korea, but many Koreans have objected, fearing it would become a target that endangers lives of those who live near its launch sites.

This sale is likely to further United States national security and foreign policy interests and support the long-term security of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region.

Saudi Arabia is a longstanding USA ally in the Middle East and its arms deals with Moscow have caused disquiet in Washington.