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Russian comment on attack against oil infrastructure facilities in Saudi Arabia

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According to media reports, a large-scale drone attack was launched in the early hours of September 14 against oil refineries of the Saudi Arabian Oil Company Saudi Aramco near the cities of Abqaiq and Khurais in the eastern part of the Kingdom. The Houthi Ansar Allah movement, now fighting against forces loyal to President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi and the Arabian Coalition supporting him in Yemen, has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Riyadh has already called this terrorist attacks. No one was killed during the attacks on the oil facilities, according to Abdulaziz bin Salman, the Kingdom’s Energy Minister. The country’s emergency services managed to contain the major fires at both refineries and to eliminate any risk of a large-scale industrial disaster. According to media reports, Saudi Arabia was forced to cut crude oil exports by 50 per cent. There are plans to compensate for these reductions using Saudi Arabian oil reserves during the upcoming repair work and reconstruction.

Moscow is seriously concerned about these developments. We resolutely denounce strikes against non-military targets, the destruction of the socio-economic infrastructure and any actions that can destabilise fuel and energy supply and demand, provoke a new wave of instability on the global hydrocarbon market and spell negative consequences for the world economy.

We insistently recommend that no hasty conclusions be drawn as to who has launched this attack on the Saudi refineries. We believe that it would be counter-productive to use these developments for inciting passions around Iran in the context of the well-known US line. And we consider various military retaliation options, now being allegedly discussed in Washington, to be even more unacceptable.

We are of the opinion that mutual strikes against civilian facilities and the resulting violations of international humanitarian law are a direct consequence of the persisting acute military-political crisis in the Republic of Yemen. We reaffirm our principled position on the need for ending the armed confrontation as soon as possible and launching an all-inclusive negotiating process that would involve all leading public and political forces, regional communities and religious denominations in Yemen under the auspices of the UN. We are convinced that the people of Yemen, neighbouring countries, as well as other states having serious interests in this strategically important region, would benefit from this.

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