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Russia's Policy towards the Middle East: The Case of Yemen


Yemen occupies a peripheral place in Russian foreign policy for three reasons: lack of serious economic interest, the illusory potential of strengthening the military presence there and recognition of Saudi Arabia’s role in the Yemeni conflict. However, a deepening of the split within the Arab coalition in Yemen, primarily between the UAE and Saudi Arabia, has not only forced the Russian authorities to seek a balance between Yemeni actors, but also made Russia part of the so-called ‘Yemeni triangle’ alongside the two GCC countries. Russian involvement in the Yemeni crisis is constrained by its economic weakness and prioritisation of Russia-Gulf relations more broadly.
Keywords: Yemeni crisis, Russia, foreign policy, Gulf, Middle East