Russia is vying to take on a peace role to end the three year long civil conflict in Yemen, Arab News reported yesterday.
Mikhail Bogdanov, Russia’s special envoy to Yemen told internationally recognised President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi that it wishes to administer peace, security and stability in Yemen. A short meeting between the two took place at the 29th Arab summit in the Saudi Arabian city of Dhahran.
Back in September last year, Russia sent Yemeni bank notes to Aden to support the falling currency and to pay the national army. Russia forged a contract to produce 400 billion Yemeni riyals ($1.6 billion) to be printed and transferred to Yemen’s central bank last year to push back on liquidity.
In addition to President Vladimir Putin’s strong relationship with Hadi, last year diplomatic meetings in Russia triggered a close alliance with the UAE. The Emirates is a major actor in the Yemen war, responsible for funding many armed groups fighting the Houthis. However, Hadi’s relationship with the UAE has become increasingly volatile over the course of the conflict. Last year, Hadi called the UAE an “occupier” and not a “liberator”. Much of this may have an impact on Russia’s potential involvement in the conflict.
Back in March 2015, Hadi called in the UAE alongside the Saudi-led coalition to strike Houthi targets. But since last year, the UAE has departed from the original goals of the Saudi-led coalition and began supporting the Southern Transitional Council (STC), a group that seeks to secede from northern Yemen.