The fateful decision of Stalin: why Saudi Arabia has broken with the USSR

History 13/01/20 Fateful decision of Stalin: why Saudi Arabia has broken with the USSR

Today, the Saudis – a staunch US ally, ready to go, even on the economic sacrifices for the sake of political interests “Big Brother”. And it all could be quite the opposite – because in the 30-ies of the last century Saudi Arabia was a friend of the USSR. But because of short-sighted actions of Joseph Stalin, things changed in our favor.

the Oil Kingdom

One of the largest Asian States with tremendous oil reserves and the two major Islamic shrines – Mecca and Medina – is among the youngest on the continent. The present borders of it emerged only in 1932 – after the unification of many tribes, sahtu and Emirates of the Arabian Peninsula.

However, even before that, in 1924, when the Association was in full swing (or rather, the entire Peninsula was incomprehensible strife), the Soviet Union established diplomatic relations with the Kingdom of Najd and Hijaz, which became the center of unification. As the historian Paul Gusterin in the book “Soviet intelligence on the middle East in 1920-30-ies” to improve relations with the Arabs was possible thanks to the efforts of young Soviet diplomat Karim Khakimov.

“Red Pasha”, a close friend of the king

Bashkir Muslim Khakimov was sent on a diplomatic mission in the Arab regions before Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud – the founder of nowadays ruling dynasty of the Saudis came to power and began to unite the Emirates. However, Karim has quickly changed in the changing situation and managed to become not just a representative of the young Soviet Republic, and a personal friend of Ibn Saud.

fluent in the language, familiar with the customs and honoring the Muslim tradition Khakimov won the respect of the Arab population of Arabia and took part in the formation of the new state. NesmAtria to the difference of ideologies, Soviet diplomat successfully navigating in the relations, avoiding sharp corners and contradictions. After all, at that time, and the emerging Saudi Arabia, and located in the ring of enemies of the Soviet Union badly needed at least in some allies.

Nazir Turiakulov and the Royal visit

Even warmer relations between the two countries in the early 30-ies, when the official representative of the Kingdom came another young talented diplomat Nazir Turiakulov. Now it’s hard to believe, but then, the Soviet Union actively assisted the Saudis in energy resources, supplying the country’s gasoline and kerosene. The thaw in relations came down to the fact that Prince Faisal is the son of Ibn Saud, visited the Soviet Union and was warmly received by the Communist government. Although borrow money to give those refused, Recalling that the father of Faisal haven’t paid for fuel supply.

the Oil crash

In 1938 in Saudi Arabia oil was discovered and the history of the country changed abruptly. It would seem that in the relationship between Riyadh and Moscow, nothing is promised trouble. With easy oil money, the Kingdom surely would have paid the debts and the friendship continued to the benefit of both countries. But all messed up scary 37th. Both diplomats – Khakimov and Turiakulov was recalled to Moscow, where they were arrested, charged with espionage and shot.

Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud was furious, having lost two close friends. Make other Soviet diplomats as ambassadors, he refused. The government of the USSR, can, and would be happy to go back to resurrect the shot could not. In 1938, Soviet-Saudi diplomatic relations in fact was zero. But, a convergence of Arabia with the Americans who found the oil.

writes Yegor Gaidar in his book “death of the Empire”, namely Saudi Arabia, but rather the oil dumping from their party in 1985 led to a sharp drop in oil prices and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Of course, Joseph Stalin barely even could have imagined what disaster will lead his decisions, half a century later. And sorry…

Yaroslav Gorbunov

© Russian Seven

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