Russia Eyes Jump in S-400 Sales as Saudi Oil Attacks Taint Invincibility of United States' Patriot Missile System

Mohammed Uzair Shaikh

Moscow, September 21: The United States and Russia, who have emerged as the leading arms exporters since 2014, have lately escalated attacks against each other's defence productions. The drone attacks in the Khurais and Abqaiq oilfields of Saudi Arabia have provided fresh fodder for Moscow to fire salvo against its arch rival. A statement issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry overtly mocks Washington over its failure to prevent the Saudi Aramco facilities, which are totally guarded by the Patriot Missile System of the US. Tulsi Gabbard Raps Donald Trump Over Response to Aramco Drone Attack, Says 'Making US Saudi's B**ch Not America First'.

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By bolstering flak against the Donald Trump-led regime for failing to prevent an attack which affected nearly half of Saudi's crude supply, Russia is apparently eyeing an opportunity to push forward the "superiority" of  S-400 Triumf Missile System.  The anti-aircraft weapon system is in direct competition with Patriot, the missile system which fell short of apprehending the Houthi, or the alleged Iranian, assault on the Aramco fields.

"We still remember the fantastic U.S. missiles that failed to hit a target more than a year ago, while now the brilliant U.S. air defense systems could not repel an attack," Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday, taking a stinging jibe at the United States over the drone strikes in Saudi.

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The remarks were not isolated, but part of a concerted strategy by Russia to deride the Patriot Missile System and present the S-400 as a much stronger alternative. This strategy of Moscow, as being pointed out by Cold War-era analysts, is validated through the statements issued by Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this week.

After concluding his meeting with the Iranian and Turkish leaders on Monday, Putin said the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia would be prevented from such drone strikes in the future if they take a "wise decision".

The political leadership of Saudi Arabia just needs to make a wise state decision," Putin said, indicating that Riyadh should move away from its deeply bonded defence ties with Washington, and instead opt for the Russian anti-missile system.

Incidentally, Putin's meeting with the Iranian leaders and the Turkish leaders was aimed at pushing ahead the talks for the sale of S-300 and S-400 missile systems, respectively. The two nations are in the final stages of their talks to procure the elite defence systems from Moscow.

Turkey's decision to enter into a deal with Russia for the S-400 had prompted stern reaction from the Trump regime. Ankara, as a result, was shunned away from its participation in the American F-35 program.

India, which is also procuring the S-400 from Moscow, faced cold reaction from Washington. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had flown to Delhi earlier this year to reportedly urge the Indian side to reconsider their decision. The Narendra Modi regime, however, decided to go ahead with S-400 deal with Russia which was inked in October last year.