Around the world on 25 February 2021
The Biden administration is elbowing Saudi Arabia’s Prince Mohammed bin Salman off the international relations stage, the Financial Times’ International Affairs Editor David Gardner writes. The White House has announced that Biden will from now on communicate with King Salman rather than MbS — who had enjoyed a special relationship with the Trump administration — in a signal that Biden is “resetting” the dynamic. Not helping matters: The fact that the White House plans to declassify intelligence concerning the 2018 murder of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi, an operation that is widely believed to have been orchestrated by MbS.
The US could impose a number of sanctions on Russia following last year’s Russian intelligence services-backed SolarWinds hack, which exposed data from several US agencies, the Financial Times reports, citing sources close to the Biden administration. Washington may even bring criminal charges against specific Russian individuals if their intelligence services are able to confirm exactly who was responsible, the sources said.