Putin in landmark visit to Saudi Arabia

Russian President Vladimir Putin kicks off a Middle East tour, seeking to enhance ties with traditional US allies in the region after launching a scathing attack on Washington’s foreign policy.

On the eve of his departure, the Russian leader attacked the United States as a reckless “unipolar” power that has made the world more dangerous by pursuing policies that have led to war, ruin and insecurity.

“The United States has overstepped its borders in all spheres — economic, political and humanitarian and has imposed itself on other states,” Putin said at a conference on security policy in Munich.

Such a situation “is extremely dangerous. No one feels secure because no one can hide behind international law,” Putin said. US dominance, he said, was “ruinous”.

“Local and regional wars didn’t get fewer. The number of people who died didn’t get less, but increased… We see no kind of restraint, a hyper-inflated use of force.”

The United States, he said, had gone “from one conflict to another without achieving a fully-fledged solution to any of them.”

…Decades of Saudi suspicion about Moscow’s intentions in the Middle East have given way to warming relations, with the two sides recently discussing the sale of Russian T-90 battle tanks and Mi-17 military helicopters — the sorts of arms Riyadh has traditionally bought from the United States.


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