For the most part of the twenty-five years of the contemporary Russian-Saudi relationship it has been a mixed baggage of mutual accusations, large-scale suspicions and extremely limited cooperation. Swift regional transformations in the wake of the Arab spring, Russia’s re-emergence in the region as a influential actor and the power transition in the Kingdom have pushed Moscow and Riyadh to seek a fresh start. The relationship has multiple dimensions, is dependent on too many outside factors and is still far from offering an “ideal formula” for adequately marrying each other’s interests. At the same time, it possesses enough resources needed for a more robust cooperation.
The present paper examines the nature of the Russian-Saudi relationship, as well as outside factors that frequently define it. It also assesses implications of the crisis in Syria on the bilateral relations and proposes a vision for a potential cooperation.