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Sergey Serebrov

Ph.D. in Economics, Senior Researcher at the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies, Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences

The events in Yemen has long remained in the shadow of the numerous crises in other Middle Eastern countries. Nevertheless, the Yemen crisis carries threats that have already started to affect its neighbours in the Arabian Peninsula and which might affect the interests of global actors in the future. The situation in Yemen has already been identified as one of the world’s largest humanitarian catastrophes of the 21st century, causing concerns for the United Nations and the international community. If urgent measures are not taken to resolve the political crisis in the country, the situation could present greater challenges.

Russia has been consistent in calling on global and regional forces to work together in trying to resolve the region’s problems.

The current environment requires new approaches to the crisis in Yemen.

The events in Yemen has long remained in the shadow of the numerous crises in other Middle Eastern countries. Nevertheless, the Yemen crisis carries threats that have already started to affect its neighbours in the Arabian Peninsula and which might affect the interests of global actors in the future. The situation in Yemen has already been identified as one of the world’s largest humanitarian catastrophes of the 21st century, causing concerns for the United Nations and the international community. If urgent measures are not taken to resolve the political crisis in the country, the situation could present greater challenges.

Russia has been consistent in calling on global and regional forces to work together in trying to resolve the region’s problems.

The current environment requires new approaches to the crisis in Yemen.

Recommendations

Russia commands the diplomatic and political resources and has a moral right as Yemen’s historical partner to break the deadlock in the settlement. The extremely grim experience of the two-and-a-half-year war in Yemen that is going nowhere suggests that there will be a positive response from the international community to the possible launching of a peace process in that country. This goes for both the United Nations and regional actors (including members of the Saudi coalition). The European Union and those Asian countries that have a vested interest in the security of the Mandeb Strait could become active partners of Russia on this issue.

The greatest humanitarian crisis in Yemen, and the absence of any signs of a settlement under UN Security Council Resolution 2216 of April 2015, make it imperative for the international community to take urgent measures in new formats for the purpose of stopping the hostilities and initiating political talks.

Russia has a solid peacekeeping potential in Yemen; it enjoys a hefty credit of trust with the majority of the key actors in the country, as well as with the GCC and Egypt. It is also in Russia’s interest to use the trade partnership potential of the BRICS association to facilitate the settlement of the crisis. BRICS involves all the countries for which the safety of the shortest route into Europe via the Mandeb Strait is of great economic significance.

All the key parameters of the Yemen crisis have changed since the beginning of the war two-and-a-half years ago. Seeing as the humanitarian aspect of the crisis takes absolute priority, as corroborated by reports submitted by specialized UN agencies, this warrants a thorough revision of UN Security Council Resolution 2216, from which Russia abstained. During the vote, Permanent Representative of Russia to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin stressed that the text of the resolution failed to reflect the full picture of what was going on in Yemen and contained inadmissible references to sanctions that were capable of escalating the crisis. Churkin also pointed out that the resolution contradicted prior resolutions adopted by the Security Council with regard to Yemen.

Yemen will be in need of major financial resources in order to restore its destroyed economy. These resources could be provided by the Gulf countries, international banks and the member nations of the Friends of Yemen club (established in London in 2010 for the purpose of supporting and stabilizing Yemen). The reconstruction process will create a basis for equal cooperation among all the Gulf countries in Yemen; this, in turn, will improve the regional situation and will help overcome the existing fears as to the emergence of dangerous and unwelcome foreign actors in the region. If Russia manages to turn the settlement process in this direction, it will gain many allies and partners both in Asia and in Europe.

Yemen Crisis: Causes, Threats and Resolution Scenarios, 1.2 Mb

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Poll conducted

  1. Korean Peninsula Crisis Has no Military Solution. How Can It Be Solved?
    Demilitarization of the region based on Russia-China "Dual Freeze" proposal  
     36 (35%)
    Restoring multilateral negotiation process without any preliminary conditions  
     27 (26%)
    While the situation benefits Kim Jong-un's and Trump's domestic agenda, there will be no solution  
     22 (21%)
    Armed conflict still cannot be avoided  
     12 (12%)
    Stonger deterrence on behalf of the U.S. through modernization of military infrastructure in the region  
     4 (4%)
    Toughening economic sanctions against North Korea  
     2 (2%)
 
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