Russian President Vladimir Putin has agreed to look into September’s attack on the Saudi Aramco oil facilities and said Russia would condemn whoever was behind it, but added that he would not take sides in the feud between Saudi Arabia and Iran, according to reports in the Arabic-language and Russian media.
Putin said Russia valued its ties with countries and understood the concerns on both sides after the attacks on the facilities in Abqaiq.
Putin said Moscow had kept “close contacts with the leadership of Saudi Arabia, including the Crown Prince [Mohammad bin Salman],” who had asked if Russia could help investigate the incident thoroughly.
“I said yes, we are ready to share anything that might be necessary, everything we have for a thorough investigation,” Putin told the media.
But when asked if he would condemn Iran if it was found to have been behind the attack, he said regardless of who was behind the attack, Russia would condemn it.
But he added that before assigning blame it was important to find out the facts. Assigning blame would be counter-productive, he added, in a reference to Riyadh and Washington pointing the finger at Tehran.
Putin added that while Russia was ready to help the Saudi fact-finding effort, it would remain a firm friend of Iran. He described Iran as “a big country” that “has existed on its territory for thousands of years [and] has its own interests.”
“Russia will never be friends with one country against another. We build bilateral relations that rely on positive trends generated by our contacts. We do not build alliances against anyone,” he said.
The Russian leader also said Moscow would not take on the “unrewarding” role of mediator in the Riyadh-Tehran feud and added that he believed the two nations were capable of solving their disputes without a middleman.