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Yemeni campaign signals crisis of international organizations — Russian security official

April 13, 2015, 8:30 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The military interference into Yemen had not been sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council but started with consent from the United States
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Nikolay Patrushev

Nikolay Patrushev

© ITAR-TASS/Vladimir Smirnov

MOSCOW, April 13 /TASS/. A military campaign in Yemen signals crisis of international organizations, Nikolay Patrushev, the secretary of the Russian Security Council, said in an interview with the Izvestia daily.

"The military campaign which is currently under way has confirmed that a crisis of international organizations is looming on the horizon. The military interference [into Yemen] had not been sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council but started with consent from the United States," Patrushev told Izvestia, which is going to publish the interview on Monday.

"It is necessary to arrange peace negotiations and find a floor that would suit all the parties. We are ready to support any constructive proposals," Patrushev went on to say adding that the number one priority was to stop the armed confrontation.

"The fighting in Aden and the coalition’s air strikes have brought Yemen to the brink of a humanitarian disaster," the secretary of the Russian Security Council said. He referred to the figures provided by the World Health Organization which said that more than 600 people had died and more than 2,000 had been wounded in Yemen since the start of the conflict’s active phase. Almost 300,000 have been forced to leave their homes. About 250,000 Yemenis have been registered as refugees.

"Most casualties include peaceful civilians. Children were hurt. Huge damage is being caused to civilian infrastructure," Patrushev stressed.

‘Bombardments and any operations causing huge casualties are unacceptable," he added.

Besides, the military conflict, in Patrushev’s view, may turn Yemen into full-fledged pirate state.

"Yemen may become not just the ‘second Somalia’ but a full-fledged pirate state. Apart from that, any war produces a huge number of refugees and gives rise to illegal migration," Patrushev told Izvestia.

"Yemen is a land of mountains which can become a paradise for rebels and terrorists. In addition to that, most Yemenis carry weapons. According to some reports, a country with a population of over 23 million people has about 60 million pieces of weapons," the secretary of the Russian Security Council said noting that Yemen had always attracted members of international terrorist organizations.

"The country has dozens of districts uncontrolled by the authorities, and now their number will keep growing," Patrushev added.

A comparative analysis of the US and European reactions to the conflicts in Ukraine and Yemen is uncovering "double standards" in interpreting state coups, Nikolai Patrushev told the Izvestia daily.

"I would like to emphasize the clear double standards, which the United States alongside the allegedly ‘progressive’ public traditionally apply to assess similar events," Patrushev said.

He also added that the military campaign in Yemen was signaling crisis of international organizations.

"The military campaign which is currently under way has confirmed that a crisis of international organizations is looming on the horizon. The military interference /into Yemen/ had not been sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council but had started with consent from the United States," Patrushev said. l

"A parallel to the situation in Ukraine is coming to mind. In Ukraine, the legitimately elected president, Viktor Yanukovich, /just like Yemeni President Hadi/ was forced to flee Kiev and then left the country. But in his case, neither the Americans nor the Europeans agreed to recognize those events as a state coup. Instead, they immediately announced that the president who fled the country had lost his legitimacy as the head of state," Patrushev explained.

That was not the case with Yemen were anti-government riots with demands of reforms flared up in 2011. "The Tunisian example where the people managed to change the power inspired the Yemeni people. The protests forced the then President Saleh to resign. President Hadi was elected at early elections. However, the Yemenis’ hopes for a better future did not come true. Their lives did not change for the better," Patrushev stressed.

Mass protests resumed in Yemen in mid-August 2014. The clashes later evolved into confrontation of various political forces. "The Houthi insurgents are playing the leading role in these events. They are demanding an independent foreign policy free from external influence. They established control over the northern part of Yemen. That is why President Hadi ran away to Aden in the south where his supporters had concentrated their forces but later left the country," Patrushev stressed.

He said the United States and some of its allies had classified the events in Yemen as a state coup and called for creating conditions for Hadi’s return to power. They even threatened to use military force. By the way, Hadi’s term in office had expired by that time," Patrushev said adding that the escalation of the Yemeni conflict was a source of profound concern for Russia and the world community.

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