CLOSINGS: View Closings

Putin won't criticize Saudis on Khashoggi killing. Why not?

Halting weapons sales, downgrading diplomatic and commercial ties, withdrawing visas, freezing business deal...

Posted: Oct 25, 2018 3:16 PM
Updated: Oct 25, 2018 3:16 PM

Halting weapons sales, downgrading diplomatic and commercial ties, withdrawing visas, freezing business deals -- just some of the measures being considered by Saudi Arabia's Western allies, including the United States, amid the outrage over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

But one country notably absent from the Kingdom's lengthening list of critics is Russia.

Continents and regions

Eastern Europe

Europe

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Jamal Khashoggi

Middle East

Middle East and North Africa

Misc people

North America

Political Figures - Intl

Russia

Saudi Arabia

The Americas

United States

US federal government

Vladimir Putin

White House

Donald Trump

Political Figures - US

Riyadh

Even as more grisly allegations are made about how the Washington Post columnist died, criticism from the Kremlin has been nonexistent.

"First of all we should wait for the results of the investigation," cautioned Russian President Vladimir Putin as news of the killing by Saudi officials sank in.

"How can we, Russia, start spoiling our relations with Saudi Arabia without knowing what in fact happened there?" Putin reasoned.

Even Saudi Arabia is now acknowledging though, that Khashoggi's killing was premeditated, Attorney General Shaikh Suood bin Abdullah Al Mo'jab said on Thursday.

Riyadh has maintained that neither Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman nor his father, King Salman, knew of the operation to target Khashoggi. US officials have said a mission to persuade Khashoggi to return from Istanbul to Saudi Arabia -- including 15 men sent from Riyadh -- could not have been carried out without the authorization of bin Salman, the country's de facto ruler.

Dozens of journalists killed

Despite this, Moscow continues to downplay the significance of Khashoggi's death. "We heard an official statement from Riyadh in which it is said that representatives of the royal family were not involved in the incident, we took this into account," the Kremlin pointed out recently.

Critics of the Kremlin have suggested Russia's reluctance to pass judgment is hardly surprising, given its own appalling record on silencing dissent.

Human rights groups say dozens of Russian journalists have been killed for their work in the country, including Anna Politkovskaya, one of its most prominent investigative reporters, gunned down by an assassin in her apartment building in 2006.

Russia is also accused of carrying out its own assassinations abroad, including most recently an attempt to poison Sergei Skripal, a former Russian military intelligence agent turned British spy, in the English city of Salisbury in March.

The Kremlin has repeatedly denied any connection with these incidents.

But there is also a big commercial factor driving Russia's somewhat forgiving stance toward Riyadh.

The two energy giants, who have been traditional rivals, are currently experiencing steadily improving political and economic ties and Moscow wants to ensure it says nothing to jeopardize that.

It's a strategy that is already paying off handsomely. Earlier this week, as the Turkish authorities called for Saudi officials who ordered the killing to be brought to account, Russia announced that Saudi Arabia was investing $5 billion in a natural gas project in the Russian Arctic.

Bigger slice of the Russian pie

There are, perhaps, some in the West who wish their governments were as morally unencumbered as Russia.

A troublesome journalist may have been brutally killed, but why sanction the Saudis and risk lucrative deals?

Others may have thought it, but as outrage over the Khashoggi killing ratcheted up, it was only US President Donald Trump who said it out loud.

"They made the largest order in the history of our country, for outside of our country, for weapons. ... $110 billion dollars they're purchasing. It's 500,000 jobs -- American jobs," Trump told Fox Business.

"So now people say we want to have you end that order. Aren't we just hurting our own country? Because here's what's going to happen. They're going to say hey, America won't sell us the missiles so we'll buy them from China or we'll buy them from Russia," he added.

Trump has since strengthened his comments on Saudia Arabia, but this remains a searing insight from the White House about the reality of Russia, a country that knows it will probably never replace the West as Saudi Arabia's main ally, but which would dearly love a slightly bigger slice of the Saudi pie.

With top global business leaders pulling out in droves from the Saudi Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh this week, or the so-called "Davos in the desert," Russia has sent an enhanced delegation to praise the Kingdom and to snatch lucrative deals.

"We believe it is important to support the transformation happening in Saudi Arabia," Kirill Dmitriev, head of the Russian sovereign wealth fund, told CNN ahead of the conference.

"The vision of a moderate Islam, of a new economy, is important, and we support that vision in Saudi Arabia," he added.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 312969

Reported Deaths: 3637
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin661641115
Ramsey27766505
Anoka22149228
Dakota22015190
Washington13999115
Stearns13733116
St. Louis8747112
Scott846255
Wright775843
Olmsted665634
Sherburne587641
Clay498457
Carver474213
Blue Earth414116
Rice412836
Kandiyohi408122
Crow Wing359634
Otter Tail314322
Chisago311611
Nobles308730
Benton299451
Winona276930
Mower261623
Douglas260337
Polk256324
Morrison231629
Lyon218711
Beltrami217117
McLeod212812
Becker205415
Goodhue203228
Steele19497
Isanti190617
Itasca190423
Carlton185816
Todd181214
Nicollet162525
Mille Lacs153631
Freeborn15336
Le Sueur147011
Cass143710
Brown141315
Waseca139211
Pine13658
Meeker12879
Roseau11964
Hubbard114925
Martin113320
Wabasha10561
Redwood94619
Chippewa8877
Cottonwood8664
Renville86527
Dodge8600
Watonwan8544
Wadena8016
Sibley7934
Rock7779
Aitkin76730
Pipestone72518
Fillmore6990
Houston6984
Yellow Medicine64812
Pennington6478
Kanabec61913
Murray5873
Swift5838
Faribault5612
Pope5391
Clearwater5248
Stevens5103
Marshall4979
Unassigned49359
Jackson4881
Lake4226
Koochiching3926
Wilkin3895
Lac qui Parle3773
Lincoln3591
Norman3497
Big Stone3182
Mahnomen2964
Grant2796
Kittson2248
Red Lake2133
Traverse1481
Lake of the Woods1001
Cook720

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 227398

Reported Deaths: 2368
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk33642336
Linn14352165
Scott1124986
Black Hawk10893135
Woodbury10372126
Johnson955336
Dubuque923291
Story678822
Dallas637257
Pottawattamie631970
Sioux370325
Webster358535
Cerro Gordo357144
Marshall348546
Clinton331344
Buena Vista305414
Des Moines291520
Muscatine289268
Warren281914
Plymouth276042
Wapello255772
Jones232313
Jasper217944
Marion205320
Lee203917
Carroll198422
Bremer195212
Henry18307
Crawford174616
Benton170619
Tama154340
Jackson144613
Delaware144221
Washington141314
Dickinson139210
Boone137011
Mahaska126827
Wright12456
Clay11784
Buchanan117010
Hardin115810
Page11374
Hamilton11199
Clayton11175
Cedar108413
Harrison107729
Kossuth10667
Calhoun10617
Floyd105016
Mills10487
Fayette103910
Lyon10338
Butler10216
Poweshiek99313
Winneshiek97613
Iowa95812
Winnebago93023
Hancock8677
Grundy86311
Louisa86216
Sac8608
Chickasaw8574
Cherokee8484
Allamakee81811
Cass81623
Mitchell7984
Appanoose79312
Humboldt7715
Union7706
Shelby76511
Emmet76424
Guthrie75415
Franklin73921
Jefferson7142
Madison6864
Unassigned6690
Palo Alto6554
Keokuk5997
Howard5599
Pocahontas5584
Greene5250
Osceola5241
Ida48913
Clarke4874
Davis4709
Taylor4653
Montgomery46311
Monroe44412
Adair4418
Monona4352
Worth3630
Fremont3583
Van Buren3585
Lucas3256
Decatur3170
Wayne3007
Audubon2962
Ringgold2112
Adams1702
Rochester
Clear
16° wxIcon
Hi: 29° Lo: 14°
Feels Like: 16°
Mason City
Clear
11° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 13°
Feels Like: 11°
Albert Lea
12° wxIcon
Hi: 30° Lo: 11°
Feels Like: 12°
Austin
Clear
12° wxIcon
Hi: 29° Lo: 14°
Feels Like: 12°
Charles City
Clear
16° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 12°
Feels Like: 16°
Quiet Weather This Week
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Community Events