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On both Feb 28, 2022 and Feb 16, 2023 Russia voted to renew the arms embargo and other sanctions on Yemen. Why would they do that when Iran is probably not too pleased, given that e.g. the US 5th fleet has a clear mandate under international law to intercept arms and explosive supplies for the Houthis?

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  • What is "thus legally" here? Do you mean that if there are sanctions, intercepting sanctioned cargo is deemed legal, thus whoever has the capability would not break laws seizing such cargo?
    – Vesper
    Nov 9, 2023 at 9:00
  • @Vesper: yes, otherwise the US would be acting as a party to the conflict. Like this, they just enforce a UNSC decision. Being a party to the conflict would not necessarily be illegal, granted, but more politically problematic. I've reworded it a bit. Nov 9, 2023 at 9:04
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    oil politics. Russia has many angles, not just arms deals but also oil prices to think about. they maintain good relations both with the saudis and iran. reuters.com/markets/commodities/… Nov 9, 2023 at 9:10
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    @Angriffsreiher: yeah, it appears that Russia was even slightly favoring the Saudis until recently "In October 2021, Russia voted against a Dutch resolution in the UN Human Rights Council that proposed extending the mandate of the Group of Eminent Experts (GEE) human rights investigators in Yemen. This resolution had been heavily lobbied against by Saudi Arabia." Nov 9, 2023 at 9:26
  • And even now "In early April 2023, the lead frigate of Russia's Northern fleet Admiral Gorshkov made headlines when docking at the Saudi port of Jeddah, after participating in naval drills in the Indian Ocean and Arabian sea, the first docking there of a Russian military vessel in almost a decade." So, I've kinda self-answered here, but if someone wants to put these in an actual answer. Nov 9, 2023 at 9:28

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The short answer is oil. Russia's also has interest to maintain good relations with the Saudis, which seems to be very beneficial to both sides, and this vote might be a nod towards them.

Russia, Saudi Arabia discuss oil market, prices amid Israel-Hamas war (Reuters)

and while the US intended normalization, that is, the agreement between Saudia and Israel seems very unrealistic now, the raising oil prices for Saudia might be a good compensation.

As for Russia's relations with Iran and their mutually beneficial arms deals, Russia's policy in Yemen didnt harm them the slightest. Indeed arms deals aimed for a vast increase in size since 2022:

In the emerging arrangement between Russia and Iran to supply each other with weapons, the former has received hundreds of Iranian drones to rain on Ukrainian cities and civilian infrastructure, while the latter looks set to get Russia’s advanced Su-35 fighter jet. On top of that, Moscow has reportedly funneled captured U.S. and other Western weaponry to Tehran. (Foreign Policy, 2023 apr)

Russia's goal is to supply arms to as many countries in the region as possible, and the recent developments suggest that their future prospects are looking good in this regard.

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To add to the 'probably because the Saudis wanted that' list:

Russia supported the Saudis vs the West in some respects in that conflict, e.g.

In October 2021, Russia voted against a Dutch resolution in the UN Human Rights Council that proposed extending the mandate of the Group of Eminent Experts (GEE) human rights investigators in Yemen. This resolution had been heavily lobbied against by Saudi Arabia.

True, Russia is not too enamored of the West preaching human rights (and investigating abuses thereof), so their vote in that regard probably had more than one motivation.

Also,

In early April 2023, the lead frigate of Russia's Northern fleet Admiral Gorshkov made headlines when docking at the Saudi port of Jeddah, after participating in naval drills in the Indian Ocean and Arabian sea, the first docking there of a Russian military vessel in almost a decade.

So they seem to be seeking other rapprochements with the Saudis, as well.

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Russia adheres to a constructive peaceful policy as far as it possible. All according to the UN Law and with supporting the sovereign and legal Yemen government. i do not understand why Russia should to do something other?

Iran politic was not well thought out. It was reactive and aggressive. But i think these agreements make clear that peace line was won in this region with the help of China, and Russia too ofc, because Russia have good relations with Iran, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and all others in Middle East region.

"Saudi Arabia, Iran Restore Relations in Deal Brokered by China." WSJ

And the US got only lots of Iranian assault riffles and ammunition, that they had seni as support(read destabilise) to Ukraine in current conflict bypassing the international law.

as the saying goes:
Quae sunt Caesaris Caesari et quae sunt Dei Deo

And finally, assault riffles are definitely not the best weapon for defence but ground-air missiles. So Yemen got something more technological, then lost before.

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