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Persistent Russians sniff out Saudi opportunities

9th April 2021 - 18:30 GMT | by Alex Orlov, Alexander Mladenov in Sofia & Moscow


Are deteriorating US-Saudi relations the reason why Riyadh has resurrected its interest in the S-400? (Photo: Russian MoD)

Russian optimism on arms exports to Saudi Arabia is energised by icier relations between Riyadh and Washington.

Renewed negotiations between Saudi Arabia and Russia on the possible sale of S-400 Triumf (SA-21 Growler) SAM systems have been acknowledged by Rostec CEO Sergey Chemezov. 

However, he added that no such contracts have been agreed yet for a deal that may yet trigger sanctions from the Biden administration, which has already frozen US arms exports to Saudi Arabia.

Interest in the S-400 from Riyadh dates back to talks between Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) and Rosoboronexport in 2017. In October that year, the companies signed an agreement for the purchase and co-production of the S-400 SAM and other

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Alex Orlov


Alex Orlov

Alex Orlov is a freelance journalist based in Helsinki.

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Alexander Mladenov


Alexander Mladenov

Alexander Mladenov is a Shephard correspondent based in Sofia, Bulgaria.

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