1d2f9ae9-6bca-448c-aa59-747b5a200980 - RESEARCH PAPER A Political History of Relations between Russia and the Gulf States Elena Melkumyan | Dec 2015 A

1d2f9ae9-6bca-448c-aa59-747b5a200980 - RESEARCH PAPER A...

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RESEARCH PAPER A Political History of Relations between Russia and the Gulf States Elena Melkumyan | Dec 2015
A Political History of Relations between Russia and the Gulf States Series: Research Paper Elena Melkumyan| Dec 2015 Copyright © 2015 Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies. All Rights Reserved. ____________________________ The Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies is an independent research institute and think tank for the study of history and social sciences, with particular emphasis on the applied social sciences. The Center’ s paramount concern is the advancement of Arab societies and states, their cooperation with one another and issues concerning the Arab nation in general. To that end, it seeks to examine and diagnose the situation in the Arab world - states and communities- to analyze social, economic and cultural policies and to provide political analysis, from an Arab perspective. The Center publishes in both Arabic and English in order to make its work accessible to both Arab and non-Arab researchers. Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies PO Box 10277 Street No. 826, Zone 66 Doha, Qatar Tel.: +974 44199777 | Fax: +974 44831651
Table of Contents
RUSSIA-GCC STATES RELATIONS 1 Introduction Russia’s contemporary development of political relations with a number of players in the Gulf namely Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and the UAE is taking place as though a continuation of relations between these states and the former United Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR). Since Soviet contacts with these countries was unquestionably fragmented, this tactic seems an unstable one, and an inadvisable place to be (re) building political ties. Looking at the historic relationships between the USSR and these Gulf states, this paper will show how current Russian policy is building on a problematic past. Soviet Attitude towards the Smaller Gulf States During the peak of Soviet influence, the Gulf region was an arena of Soviet-American confrontation. The general atmosphere of the Cold War influenced the formation of Soviet strategic goals in the Gulf region. The USSR had traditionally considered its foremost task in the region as one of assisting governments predisposed to the path of “no n- capitalist” deve lopment, with Iraq as a central ally. This allegiance meant that the USSR gave Iraq unconditional support, something that was demonstrated during the 1961 Kuwaiti crisis when the Soviet Union took Iraq’s side, even when its leader, Abdul Karim Qasim, demanded the annexation of Kuwait as an integral part of Iraq’s territory. On two occasions, the Soviet Union used its veto power as a permanent member of the UN Security Council in favor of Iraq. The first instance was regarding the presence of British armed forces in Kuwait (deployed at the request of the Kuwaiti government to defend its independence), which Soviet officials saw as illegitimate. The issue was brought to the UN. In his speech to the Security Council, Soviet representative Valerian Zorin declared:
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