Russia Suspends Diplomatic Presence in Yemen

Russia Suspends Diplomatic Presence in Yemen

 Russia has halted its diplomatic presence in Yemen and its embassy staff have left the country amid the deepening conflict between the government and Huthi rebels, the foreign ministry said.

"Considering the situation in Sanaa, a decision has been taken to temporarily suspend Russia's diplomatic presence in Yemen. All employees of the Russian embassy have left the country," Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told AFP on Tuesday (December 12).

"The Russian ambassador and some of the Russian diplomatic corps accredited in Yemen will carry out their duties in Riyadh," she added.

Russian ambassador Vladimir Dedushkin had already been working from Riyadh since last year and Moscow warned last week that Yemen risks spiraling into "military-political chaos".

More than 8,750 people have been killed since Saudi Arabia and its allies joined the government's fight against the Huthis in 2015, triggering what the U.N. has called the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

Russia has previously expressed concern about the strikes by the Saudi-led coalition, which killed 26 people at the weekend, following the killing of ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh at the hands of the Huthis.