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Saudi Arabia pledges $400 million for Ukraine
Many believe this aid delivery is meant to appease western outrage at Riyadh for the major OPEC+ cut announced earlier this month
By News Desk - October 15 2022
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(Photo credit: Anadolu Agency)

Saudi Prime Minister and Crown Prince, Mohammed Bin Salman (MbS), pledged $400 million to assist Ukraine’s current and post-war humanitarian efforts during a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on 14 October.

MbS also pledged to continue mediation efforts between Russia and Ukraine and “contribute to de-escalate” the situation in eastern Europe.

For his part, Zelensky thanked the crown prince for his country’s position at the UN to condemn the annexation of the four Ukrainian provinces by Moscow, and Riyadh’s role in freeing Ukrainian prisoners of war.

Last month, the kingdom played a crucial role in the success of a poisoner exchange deal between Russia and Ukraine.

Ten mercenaries captured by the Russian army were transferred to Riyadh ahead of their repatriation back home. The swap included nationals from the US and UK.

During a phone call between the heads of state, Putin “thanked Crown Prince MbS for his active and distinguished contribution to the success of the prisoner swap.”

As for the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it expressed its gratitude to the Russian Federation and Ukraine for “their response to the efforts made by the Crown Prince for the release of the PoWs.”

Saudi Arabia’s recent “humanitarian aid” to Ukraine was considered by observers as a Saudi attempt to offset the backlash it received from western nations, notably the US, over the major OPEC+ production cut announced earlier this month.

Riyad’s cooperation with Moscow to lower oil production by 2 million barrels a day, at a time when western nations are facing an existential energy crisis, deepened the distrust between the historical allies.

As a result, senior US officials say the White House is reevaluating its relationship with Saudi Arabia. Biden described the Gulf’s decision to cut oil production as a “hostile act” against the US’s energy security.

Nonetheless, Riyadh rejected Washington’s accusations, stressing that the kingdom is not “taking sides in any international conflict.”

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