Topics // Events // Saudi Arabia

15 march 2017

Russia – GCC Relations After the Signing of the JCPOA with Iran

Aleksandr Aksenenok Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation, Leading Researcher at the Russian Institute of Oriental Studies, RIAC Member

Omar Mahmood Research Analyst at the Bahrain Center for Strategic, International and Energy Studies (Derasat)


Russian and GCC commentators are well-acquainted with the Western views regarding the GCC region. However, Russian and GCC commentators are comparatively uninformed about each other’s perspectives regarding this important topic due to the nascent nature of research dialogue between the two. The report prepared by Alexander Aksenenok and Omar Mahmood aims to remedy this communication lacuna by furnishing readers with Russian and GCC perspectives on the issue.

14 november 2016

Is Oil-And-Gas Friendship Possible Between Russia and Saudi Arabia?

Anna Manafova Expert at the Institute of the Middle East, graduate of International Institute of Energy Policy and Diplomacy at MGIMO


Following the drop in oil prices and the souring of US-Saudi relations, there have been increasing signals of rapprochement between Russia and Saudi Arabia. Both countries' senior representatives have been voicing intentions to strengthen energy cooperation. Could this lead to a new oil-and-gas friendship?

07 november 2016

Donald Trump Will Follow Barack Obama’s Footsteps

Nikolay Surkov PhD in political science, Associate Professor, Oriental Studies Department, MGIMO of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, RIAC expert


On the eve of the US presidential elections, Chatham House, Britain’s leading analytical center on international relations, published an article by Flynt Leverett, professor of the University of Pennsylvania, titled US Election Note Middle East Policy After 2016. Leverett dwells on the future of the US Middle East policies. Leverett, a former member of the National Security Council and of the CIA, paints a fairly worrying picture of Washington soon reconsidering its policies in favor of “interventionism and confrontation,” yet a close study of his own arguments produces a rather ambiguous picture.

16 september 2016

Majed Al-Turki : Russia and Saudi Arabia face similar challenges


On September 6, 2016, the Russian International Affairs Council held a roundtable on Russia’s cooperation with Persian Gulf states in solving statehood crises in the Middle East. Dr. Majed Al Turki, Director of the Saudi Centre for Media and Arab-Russian Studies (Saudi Arabia) commented on the pact between Russia and Saudi Arabia to stabilise the oil market.

09 september 2016

Andrey Kortunov Director General of the Russian International Affairs Council, RIAC member

«The failed coup may well accelerate the recent Russo-Turkish détente»

08 september 2016

Yemen: In Search of Lost Legitimacy

Leonid Issaev General and Russian History Department of the Higher School of Economics


For over five years, Yemen has remained one of the most unstable states on the political map of the Middle East. The Arab Spring exposed the true crisis potential of the country, revealing colossal problems its leadership that had previously been ignored or put on the backburner. Polycracy, separatism, religious animosity, military intervention and reinvigorated terrorist groups – this is still an incomplete list of the problems the Republic of Yemen experiences today.

07 september 2016

Russian and Saudi experts discuss bilateral relations and Middle East


On September 6, 2016, in Moscow the Russian International Affairs Council and Saudi Center for Media and Arab-Russian Studies held a roundtable with participation of key Russian experts and researchers from MGIMO, Higher School of Economics, RAS Institute for Oriental Studies, IMEMO, Russian Institute for Strategic Research and RIAC. The discussants focused on interaction between Russia and the Gulf States in settlement of the statehood crises in the Middle East.

31 august 2016

Possibilities of a Strategic Relationship Between Russia and Saudi Arabia

Grigory Kosach Professor of the Chair of Modern East Department of History, Political Science and Law, Russian State University for the Humanities, RIAC expert

Elena Melkumyan Doctor of Political Science, Expert at the Institute of Oriental studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, and a Professor in the Department of Oriental Studies in the Russian State University for Humanities


Russia’s foreign policy in the Middle East is a multidimensional endeavour, which calls for something akin to strategic relations to be built with infl uential regional actors. Pursuing a partnership with Saudi Arabia is a comprehensive task for the Russian Federation. Saudi Arabia is a leading country in the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) and, like Russia, it is a serious player on the global oil market. Changes in the region and around the world, as well as the declaration by Saudi Arabia in April 2016 of its socioeconomic transformation in the “Vision for Saudi Arabia until the year 2030” open up new opportunities for the two countries.

12 july 2016

Unislamic Ideology of the Islamic State

Yuri Barmin Analyst on Russia and its Middle East policy, MPhil International Relations, University of Cambridge, RIAC expert


On June 29, 2014, Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, the head of what was then known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant, proclaimed the establishment of the Caliphate. Two years on, in summer 2016, the Islamic State celebrated its “birthday” with a spate of terror strikes. The Islamic State spokesman Abu Mohammed Al Adnani released a statement in May that called upon Muslims worldwide to make Ramadan “a month of calamity everywhere for non-believers”.

17 june 2016

On the Matter of the Gulf Cooperation Council’s Regional Security Concept

Vasily Kuznetsov PhD in History, Director, Center for Arab and Islamic Studies, Institute of Oriental Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences, RIAC expert


In early 2016, the Saudi Gulf Research Center published a report in Arabic subtitled “An Arab Gulf Union is the Future” dedicated to Gulf regional security. Could a different idea be proposed as an alternative to Saudi Arabia’s exclusive security system project?

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