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How Russia seeks to capitalize on US strikes in Yemen, Red Sea tensions

Russia has maintained balanced relations in Yemen, while avoiding criticism of the Houthi attacks in the Red Sea, even as its trade has been affected.
RED SEA - MAY 10: In this handout photo provided by the U.S. Navy, Logistics Specialist 1st Class Ousseinou Kaba (left), from Silver Spring, Md., and Logistics Specialist Seaman Abigail Marshke, from Flint, Mich., attach cargo to an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter from the "Nightdippers" of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 5 from the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) May 10, 2019 in the Red Sea. The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group has been deployed to U.S. Cen
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The crisis in the Red Sea has sparked a new wave of Russian diplomatic efforts in the Gulf, as Moscow seeks to expand its influence amid the ongoing US-led efforts to curb Yemen's Houthi attacks on maritime traffic passing through this vital trade corridor.

Despite being mired in the conflict in Ukraine and facing Western sanctions, President Vladimir Putin is no doubt aware of the limitations imposed by Russia's current predicament. Yet Russia is seizing the opportunity to bolster its presence in the Middle East, using the nation's available diplomatic capital to promote a multipolar regional order.

With initial fears of a protracted conflict after British-American airstrikes on Houthi targets since Jan. 12, Russia hasn’t shied away from denouncing those airstrikes.

That was most recently evidenced during Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s meeting in Moscow in late February with Ahmad Awad bin Mubarak, prime minister of Yemen’s internationally recognized government. In that meeting, Lavrov expanded on two key Russian positions.

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