UNITED NATIONS, Feb 27, 2018 (BSS /TASS) – Russia vetoed a British-drafted resolution on extension of sanctions against Yemen, which also condemns Iran for illegal supplies of weapons to the Houthi rebels, and instead brought up its own document to the UN Security Council vote on Monday. The former gained 11 favorable votes, while Russia and Bolivia voted down the draft resolution, and two countries – Kazakhstan and China – abstained. The latter document was adopted unanimously.
Both texts envisioned extension of the weapons embargo and other sanctions, including assets freeze and banned trips for persons implicated in Yemen’s destabilization, throughout February 26, 2019 and prolongation of the power of a group of experts monitoring their enforcement – until March 28, 2019. Meanwhile, the British text contained condemnations against Tehran, which western countries suspect of illegal supplies of weapons to Yemeni rebels. It also stated an intention to assume further measures in response to those violations.
Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzya said that Moscow cannot agree with “unconfirmed conclusions and reports that should be double-checked and discussed by the sanctions committee.” He added that as the text of the future resolution was negotiated the Russian side offered “more than one compromising formulation,” but Russia’s ideas were dismissed.
According to Nebenzya, Russia “is fundamentally against technical extension of sanctions committees’ export groups being politicized and used for solving not technical and expert tasks, but geopolitical ones”.
The confrontation between the government forces and the Houthis (the supporters of the Ansar Allah movement) has been going on in Yemen since August 2014. It entered its most active phase in March 2015, when the Saudi Arabia-led coalition invaded the country.
According to Yemen’s Center for Rights and Development, more than 12,500 civilians died in the country during the first 800 days of the bombing. The United Nations says that some three thirds of the Yemeni population or 22.2 mln people are in need of assistance.
Russia’s Representative to the UN welcomed the unanimous passage of the resolution and thanked the Council’s delegation for “making a correct decision.” He said that the unanimous adoption of the document “opens up possibilities for further joint efforts” on Yemeni settlement and for “promotion of healthy in the region in general”.