Russia and the Saudis (and the Americans)

Russian President Vladimir Putin's trip abroad keeps making news, even as he starts making his way home:

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal said on Wednesday that the kingdom is ready to cooperate with Russia in the military and nuclear power spheres.

Says Dan Amoss from <Strategic Investment:

Bold Russian diplomatic moves.

The Russians are now meeting with Saudis (the "51st U.S. state")!

What a change from the Reagan years when the Gipper convinced the royal family to open the oil spigots and finish off the Soviet economy with crashing oil prices.

Prelude to a new Cold War?

In light of Putin's comments last weekend, the folks at Stratfor won't dismiss the possibility:

Though there is nothing intrinsically new in Putin's criticisms, the
bluntness and the venue in which they were delivered clearly signal the
end of the relative quiescence that has characterized Moscow's relations
with the United States since the Gorbachev era. With his speech, Putin
was asserting Russia's claim to "great power" status and challenging
what he called the "unipolar" world of American power.