Experts are predicting that Saudi Arabia may be compelled to forego its weapons contracts and postpone already-agreed weapons purchases as a financial crisis due to coronavirus pandemic grips the kingdom. The expected deferral of weapons deals could leave some negative long term political effects for KSA which is currently under being rules by Mohammed bin Salman.
According to the research by the Stockholm International Peace Institute, Saudi Arabia spent about $62bn (£51bn) on buying weapons a year ago, making it the fifth-biggest spender on arms globally. In spite of the fact that figure was less than in 2018, it still represents about 8% of the country’s GDP, implying that the country spent the bigger portion of its wealth on arms than the United States (3.4%), China (1.9%), Russia (3.9%), or India (2.4).
Saudi Arab is confronting an exceptional budget crunch due to the downfall of the international oil markets. The worldwide financial constraints generated by the deadly coronavirus pandemic, that has limited the demand of oil for sure.
This spending had the support of the political power of the country, for decades. The specialist on defilement and the worldwide arms exchange, Andrew Feinstein said that if the kingdom of Saudi Arabia wasn’t the biggest buyers of these arms, most likely it couldn’t depend on the imperceptive help of influential western forces. One out of many consequences o buying these weapons is that you are buying relationships and there is no doubt about it.
The UK supplies a large number of arms to Saudi Arabia which is much more than any other country. This business exceeds £4.7bn since it began a new bombing plan on Yemen in 2015. Boris Johnson has been under the leash for permitting such sale deals to proceed regardless of distress that the United Kingdom has taken a huge risk as it is breaching the international laws on human rights by helping the Saudi battle.
Riedel along with many other experts are of an opinion that the Saudi government has no options however to defer military spending, now and again for all time.
Andrew Smith said that he expects that they may soon shift their focus from the bigger purchases, such as buying new fighter jets, for instance, which the UK is delaying for a long while.
Gerald Feierstein, another expert who was the former ambassador of the U.S to Yemen, said it might look like a simple thing for the Saudia Arab to defer or drop new contracts on trading weapons, however, the government would probably need to proceed with upkeep agreements to maintain its present power. Feierstein also added that Saudi Arabia has a history of renegotiating installment plans for weapons or extend the installments over extensive stretches of time.
Kirsten Fontenrose, a former director for Gulf affairs at the National Security Council, said that she thinks that the financial crisis due to coronavirus pandemic is going to affect all the spending of the country. She added that it might be a way of evading the political consequences and maintaining the leverage taken from the private setups.