Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for creation of an organization to provide security in the Persian Gulf.
Addressing the final plenary session of the 16th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club, in Moscow, Putin said: In this context, let me remind you that this was Russia’s logic this July, when it presented the concept of providing collective security in the Persian Gulf region. Pointing to the tense and unpredictable situation in the region, defended the scheme and said Western countries, Russia, China, the US, the EU, India and other interested countries could join as observers.
It should be noted that the plan put forward by President Putin had been disclosed by the Russian Foreign Ministry a few months ago and is in fact a detailed plan put forward by the Russians by different means. The Russian envoy to the United Nations also elaborated on the plan at a press conference, and the State Department had explained the plan in a written release. The plan, however, is not a draft that has just been announced, but was first discussed a few months ago. At the same time, the Islamic Republic of Iran has also expressed support for the Russian plan, saying it is more or less similar to the one proposed by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif several months ago in the framework of the Non-Aggression Pact. Therefore, according to Tehran officials, there are many similarities and overlaps between the two plans. The plan has been proposed in the light of escalation of conflicts in the Persian Gulf region and the likelihood of encounters following the developments shaped by Moscow.
Russia seeks to thwart US efforts to build coalitions in the region. Moscow sees the US plan as a very dangerous that could both increase military presence in the region and enhance the likelihood of conflicts. So the Kremlin is trying to prevent the US-led coalition from escalating tensions in the region.
The goal of the Russians is to provide a mechanism for countries in the region to engage in dialogue and coordinate their military interactions; and to prevent further tension and conflict in the region. Russia’s plan, of course, is that the organization should be formed with the presence of all the countries in the region and major governments such as the US, Russia, China and even the European Union. If Russia insists on US presence, it is because it does not want a country to think that Moscow’s plan is against anyone. The Russians want to show that they are seeking a global coalition to prevent a growing crisis in the region. So Russia’s coalition plan aims to reduce tensions, but the US coalition plan may increase tension and conflict in the region.
For this reason, the Islamic Republic of Iran has on various occasions declared its support for the Russian plan. Of course, Iran is essentially not seeking to promote the Russian plan, but rather to present its own scheme, given that it is presenting itself as a regional power in the Persian Gulf. Because Iran is one of the important countries in the region and in any case the solution of the crisis in the region should be pursued by the regional countries.
Of course, if the Russian plan becomes operational, it will not be to Iran’s disadvantage and Tehran will rather welcome it as the IRI is also pursuing its own plan.
At the same time, it should be noted that the implementation of such a plan will not be easy because bringing together all those countries Russia has mentioned in spite of the conflict of interests is one of the major obstacles. Of course, Russia’s goal is not necessarily to put such a plan into effect but as a major power and a permanent member of the Security Council, Moscow should have played an active role in dealing with the Persian Gulf crisis and pursued an active policy, especially in relation to the US-led coalition plan. Therefore, Moscow’s plan, whether or not it goes into effect, is a kind of declaration of Russia’s presence in the region and in the face of developments in the Persian Gulf region.