The Russian Foreign Ministry on Sunday denied allegations that Russia used passenger planes arranged for evacuating its citizens to supply weapons to conflict-torn Yemen.
“Media reports about claims made by Yemeni Foreign Minister Riyadh Yassin that Russian planes conducting evacuation of our citizens allegedly delivered weapons to Houthi rebels have drawn our attention,” Alexander Lukashevich, a spokesman for the ministry, was quoted as saying by the RIA Novosti news agency.
He said such claims, if truly made, are “absurd, irresponsible and provocative.”
“Russia is evacuating its own citizens and citizens of many other countries, including those in the anti-Houthi coalition. Unlike many others, we do not interfere in the internal conflict in Yemen,” he added.
On Saturday, Yassin was quoted by several news outlets as saying that Russian planes conducting evacuation from Yemen had delivered weaponry to Houthis and that former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh had fled the country aboard a Russian aircraft.
The security situation in Yemen has sharply deteriorated since early March when conflicts erupted in several provinces in the country’s southern regions.
A coalition led by Saudi Arabia started late last month air strikes on Houthi targets in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa and other cities, saying the multinational action is to protect President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s legitimacy and force the Houthis to retreat from cities they have seized since September 2014.
According to the United Nations, more than 500 people have been killed over the past two weeks. Enditem