In a surprise move, Russia abstained on a UN Security Council resolution, allowing it to pass and impose an international arms embargo on Yemen’s Houthi faction, which is being attacked by Saudi Arabia.
Russia had previously objected to the resolution, and Vitali Churkin warned after it passed that it should not be used as an excuse for the Saudis and their allies to escalate the war, though it almost surely will be.
Russia had also tried, unsuccessfully, to tie the language of this resolution in with its own, competing resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire. With the US increasingly involved in the Saudi war, Russia’s bill seems likely dead in the water.
It’s unclear how much impact the embargo will have on the Houthis at any rate, as they are an almost entirely home-grown faction in a nation already awash in weaponry. Though the Saudis have accused Iran of backing them, they haven’t offered any good evidence for that, and the US involvement in boarding ships along Yemen’s coast, hoping to find Iranian weapons, hasn’t turned up any.
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