Sunday, 04 Dec 2022

Democrats suggest shifting weapons from Saudi Arabia to Ukraine

Democrats suggest shifting weapons from Saudi Arabia to Ukraine


Democrats suggest shifting weapons from Saudi Arabia to Ukraine

In an interview with the Guardian, Khanna said tensions had reached a boiling point that was comparable to US sentiment following the murder of the Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Pressed on whether Democrats were likely to move beyond rhetoric, Khanna pointed to recent comments by his colleague Robert Menendez, a Democratic senator who as chairman of the foreign relations committee said he was prepared to halt Saudi weapons sales.

Meanwhile, Chris Murphy, an influential Democratic senator from Connecticut, said he believed the US ought to suspend the sale of advanced air-to-air missiles to Saudi Arabia and repurpose these missiles to Ukraine.

While physically transferring existing weapons systems in Saudi Arabia to Ukraine would not be particularly complicated logistically, experts said it could risk accusations that the Biden administration was escalating its support for Ukraine beyond levels that it considered appropriate, because the systems might require on-the-ground US personnel for support.

Hartung said he believed the Saudis might be underestimating the impact of the sudden break in relations with Washington, given the relationship appeared to survive the Khashoggi murder. In that case, however, Trump was in the White House and steadfastly loyal to the Saudis. Hartung said he believed it was unlikely that Biden would veto a congressional resolution aimed at the kingdom, as Trump did in 2019.

The Saudi foreign ministry this week rejected the criticism of its Opec+ decision and insisted the cartel had acted with unanimity and in its own economic interest. It also rejected any assumption that it could be forced into a policy U-turn.

Khanna hit back at that claim.

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