Russia Warns United States: Don’t Interfere in Saudi Royal Succession

Russia has warned the U.S. against any attempts to influence Saudi Arabia’s royal succession, and offered its official support to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The prince is under international pressure over the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and critic of the kingdom’s government, whom American intelligence believe was ordered killed by MBS. The Saudi government has repeatedly denied the prince’s involvement, a position Russia says it accepts. Russian President Vladimir Putin has built an increasingly close relationship to the prince, and the two rulers have worked together to limit oil production in OPEC countries in order to lift prices. Putin’s envoy to the Middle East said the prince has every right to inherit the throne when the ailing 82-year-old King Salman dies. “Of course we are against interference. The Saudi people and leadership must decide such questions themselves,” Mikhail Bogdanov, who is also Russia’s deputy foreign minister, said in an interview in Moscow Tuesday. “The King made a decision and I can’t even imagine on what grounds someone in America will interfere in such an issue.”