RIO DE JANEIRO, July 26. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has called on the BRICS (the acronym coined for an association of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) partners to support Russia’s concept of collective security in the Gulf.
"Russia stands for the soonest normalization of the situation in this region [the Gulf]. To this end we have elaborated a concept of collective security and cooperation in the Gulf. All of our BRICS colleagues have the text of this concept. We hope for your support," he said at a BRICS ministerial meeting on Friday.
According to the Russian top diplomat, tensions in that region have been escalated due to the anti-Iranian steps taken by a number of countries. "The development of the situation has reached a dangerous line, which is fraught with risks of large-scale warfare. We must do our best to prevent it," he stressed.
Following the meeting, a joint statement was published on the Russian Foreign Ministry’s website on Friday. According to it, the BRICS nations call for using political and diplomatic means to settle the situation.
"The Ministers expressed the concern over the heightened tensions in the Gulf region and called for a peaceful political solution through dialogue and diplomatic engagement," the document says.
The situation around Iran exacerbated on July 19, when the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), an elite military force of the Islamic Republic, seized the UK-flagged tanker Stena Impero in the Strait of Hormuz for "the violations of international maritime regulations." According to the IRGC, the tanker was escorted towards the shore for further investigation.
Following the incident, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said that Washington was "building out a coalition that will patrol the Strait of Hormuz to keep those shipping lanes, those sea lanes open." "There’ll be nations from all around the world that participate in that," he added. On July 19, the US Central Command issued a statement saying that it was "developing a multinational maritime effort, Operation Sentinel, to increase surveillance of and security in key waterways in the Middle East to ensure freedom of navigation in light of recent events in the Arabian Gulf region."
Russia’s foreign ministry made public a concept of collective security in the Gulf on July 23. It envisages the establishment of an initiative group to prepare an international conference on security and cooperation in the Gulf, with an eye to setting up an organization of that name.
Apart from that, Moscow came out with initiatives to create demilitarized zones in that region, to refrain from deploying permanent forces of off-region nations and establish hotline links between the military.