AhlulBayt News Agency

source : Al-Waght News

30 January 2024

7:08:25 AM

Analysis: Russia’s message to West while hosting Ansarullah delegation

Russia's decision to host Ansarullah and its condemnation of attacks on Yemeni territory deliver a stark message to the United States: The root cause of instability in the Red Sea does not originate from Yemenis but rather from Washington and its allies, who have endangered international maritime navigation due to their political ambitions.

AhlulBayt News Agency: Russia's decision to host Ansarullah and its condemnation of attacks on Yemeni territory deliver a stark message to the United States: The root cause of instability in the Red Sea does not originate from Yemenis but rather from Washington and its allies, who have endangered international maritime navigation due to their political ambitions.

Following multiple rounds of airstrikes by the United States and the United Kingdom targeting locations in Yemen, and the United States' designation of Ansarullah as a terrorist organization, Russia has taken a stance contrary to Western interests by extending an invitation to Ansarullah leaders for negotiations in Moscow to address the escalating tensions in the region.

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that on Friday, Mikhail Bogdanov, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister, hosted a delegation from Ansarullah led by Mohammed Abdul-Salam. Both parties engaged in discussions aimed at achieving a comprehensive resolution to the military and political crisis in Yemen. They underscored the significance of heightened international endeavors to establish immediate conditions conducive to extensive negotiations among Yemenis, with the support of the United Nations.

Moreover, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs highlighted discussions on the distressing events in the region, particularly the situation in Palestine and the deteriorating conditions in the Red Sea. They condemned missile attacks by the United States and the United Kingdom on Yemen, recognizing their destabilizing impact on the region. Additionally, the meeting addressed the latest developments in negotiations and dialogue with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, facilitated by Oman, concerning political shifts in Yemen.

Abdul-Salam also posted on his X page: "Both parties deliberated on the urgent need to escalate international endeavors to compel the United States and Israel to halt their atrocities in Gaza. Abdul-Salam underscored: "Yemen's unwavering support for Gaza and condemnation of American-British aggressions, designed to shield Israel, have been evident. It would be preferable for America to cease its aggression against Gaza and extend humanitarian assistance to the region, rather than escalating militarization in the Red Sea."

Russia opposes America's adventurism in the Red Sea

Ansarullah's visit to Moscow coincides with Yemen's military targeting of ships and vessels belonging to the Zionist regime heading to the occupied territories in response to the Zionist regime's war in Gaza. Subsequently, the United States sought to counter Yemeni actions and create a security shield for the Zionist regime's maritime trade by forming an international naval coalition. In the aftermath of the coalition's failure to emerge, the White House, accompanied solely by the United Kingdom, has conducted numerous attacks on Yemeni territory over the past fortnight, citing Security Council resolutions as justification.

The recent Security Council resolution denouncing Ansarullah's maritime activities in the Red Sea was passed with Russia and China abstaining, yet Kremlin officials are enraged by Washington's manipulation of the resolution for its own political agenda.

Russia has urgently called for a Security Council session and accused London and Washington of intensifying tensions. Maria Zakharova, spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry, stated two weeks ago that the assault on Yemen represents another instance of Anglo-Saxon distortion of Security Council resolutions and disregard for international law, aimed at escalating the situation in the region to achieve their destructive aims. Vasily Nebenzya, Russia's ambassador to the United Nations, also criticized the US and UK assaults on Yemen in a letter to Security Council members, deeming them a violation of the UN Charter.

The Russians understand that America's actions in the Red Sea could escalate conflict, posing a serious threat to global trade and navigation. Hence, they aim to convey to the West, by engaging with Ansarullah, that they do not align with Washington's regional policies.

The timing of Ansarullah's delegation to Moscow coincides with reports of the Ukrainian army downing a Russian transport plane, purportedly carrying civilians and Ukrainian prisoners. This incident has led Kremlin officials to strongly criticize the non-responsive attitude of the West concerning this matter.

Russia acknowledges that backing American military maneuvers in the Red Sea will heighten tensions in the region and jeopardize Russian trade with Arab nations.

Meanwhile, Kremlin leaders have consistently blamed America and Europe for the global crisis since the onset of the Ukrainian conflict. They argue that the conflict could be swiftly resolved if desired, but Western powers intend to prolong the war to weaken Russia. Thus, Russia's closeness to Ansarullah, currently viewed as a threat to the West and the Zionist regime, may serve as an opportunity to retaliate against its adversary.

Consequently, Russia might leverage its ties with Ansarullah to influence the Ukrainian situation and, through active diplomacy, address both the conflict in Ukraine and the Gaza conflict. By doing so, Russia seeks to restore stability and peace to the Red Sea, positioning itself as a mediator and stabilizing force globally.

Moscow and Sanaa are moving towards cooperation

The invitation for the Ansarullah delegation to visit Moscow is not solely tied to the current developments in the Red Sea. Since Ansarullah took control of Sanaa in September 2014, Russia has engaged with this group at various levels, and the government led by Ansarullah has consistently shown interest in expanding relations with Moscow.

An analysis of the Yemeni conflict from 2015 to the present indicates that since the beginning of the Saudi coalition's aggression against Yemen, Russia has pursued a policy of neutrality, refraining from either condemning or supporting Saudi attacks. Instead, Russia's approach to involvement in the Yemeni conflict has centered on endorsing the role of UN representatives in facilitating peace talks and indirectly influencing the course of the war.

Following the Saudi coalition's assault on Yemen in April 2015, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement expressing grave concern over the worsening security situation in Yemen. Moscow emphasized the urgent need to halt aerial attacks and resume negotiations to address the country's crisis. Russia has consistently emphasized the importance of safeguarding Yemen's sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity, viewing a political resolution as the sole viable option to resolve the crisis.

During the severe economic blockade imposed on Yemen by the Saudi coalition in July 2017, Russia provided humanitarian aid to Sanaa through airlifts. In July 2019, Russia extended its first invitation to Ansarullah leaders to Moscow and presented proposals for resolving the Yemeni crisis. These proposals included the ending of Ansarullah missile operations in Saudi territory, an end to Saudi attacks on Yemeni civilians, and the removal of restrictions on humanitarian aid delivery.

Overall, leaders in Sanaa have expressed satisfaction with Russia's stance in the Yemeni conflict and have embraced Moscow's increased engagement. For instance, Abdul-Salam, a prominent figure within Ansarullah, articulated in a July 2020 interview with the "26 September" newspaper: "Russia has the potential to positively impact the Yemeni situation. We observe an enhancement in Russia's position compared to the past, and we maintain exceptional dialogue with Russian counterparts, exchanging perspectives on Yemen. If Russia continues this shift in its approach, it will contribute to regional stability and peace."

In December 2020, following the previous US administration's designation of Ansarullah as a terrorist group, Russia's representative at the Security Council and the nation's foreign minister condemned America's decision as detrimental, hindering efforts toward a political resolution of the Yemeni crisis, and urged Washington to reconsider.

With the easing of tensions and the establishment of a relative ceasefire in Yemen last year, Russia has amplified its involvement to address the regional crisis and reinforce relations with the National Salvation Government. Russia found restrictions on humanitarian aid to Yemen unacceptable in August of this year and advocated for actions in Yemen that promote a peaceful resolution rather than incite political upheaval.

Recognizing Ansarullah's nine-year resilience against the aggressor coalition and its recent displays of strength against the US and the Zionist regime in the Red Sea and the Bab al-Mandab Strait, Russia acknowledges Ansarullah as a predominant force in Yemen's political and military landscape. From Russia's viewpoint, Ansarullah has attained a level of political maturity conducive to assuming leadership of an independent and stable Yemeni government.

The formation of a National Unity Government in Yemen under Ansarullah's leadership would prompt Russia to reestablish diplomatic ties with the country and bolster economic and military relations. Yemen's attraction to any nation lies in its abundant oil and gas reserves, as well as its pristine islands teeming with salt, marble, significant untapped coal reserves, gold, lead, and nickel. The presence of such wealth served as a primary motivator for Yemen's invasion, as demonstrated by the UAE's occupation of islands in southern Yemen, particularly Socotra, for the exploitation of these valuable resources. Now, drawing from its successful track record in mining extraction projects in Africa, Russia can leverage similar expertise in Yemen, fostering a mutually advantageous trade partnership between Moscow and Ansarullah.

Furthermore, Russia acknowledges that in the New World Order, control over maritime routes and international corridors equates to dominance in global trade, with the Bab al-Mandab Strait standing out as one of these essential routes that Russia has targeted. This strait ranks among the most crucial east-west maritime trade routes, facilitating the passage of approximately 6 million barrels of oil daily and accommodating about 40,000 ships annually. Roughly 10 percent of oil tanker vessels transit through this strait to various destinations worldwide. Hence, Russia, aspiring to assert control over the global energy market with support from oil-rich Gulf nations and leveraging it as influence against the West, views Yemen's strategic geographical position as integral to realizing this significant objective.

Alternatively, Russia perceives that the establishment of an Ansarullah-led government in Yemen would pave the way for easier arms sales to the country. Through such transactions, Russia can bolster its treasury and fortify its position in this critical and strategic area by engaging in military agreements akin to those the United States has forged with Gulf nations. Some analysts suggest that acquiring naval and aerial installations in Yemen enhances Russia's operational capabilities in the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea while safeguarding its interests in a region where competing powers vie for control over bases. These objectives hinge on Yemen attaining independent governance, with Moscow actively supporting Ansarullah's leadership to expand its influence in the area.