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Russian diplomat says Western warships in Persian Gulf create new regional irritant

Russia on Friday criticised European nations' Operation Agenor in the Strait of Hormuz, saying that the presence of the  Western warships in Persian Gulf create new regional irritant.

Moscow vehemently criticizes Operation Agenor in the Strait of Hormuz, supported by eight European countries of Belgium, Germany, Greece, Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and France. Russia calls on all countries, interested in de-escalation and strengthening of regional stability, to review Russian proposal on setting up dialogue and creation of collective security system in the Persian Gulf region

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday that the excessive presence of foreign warships in the Persian Gulf region does not facilitate ease of tensions in the region but works as an additional irritant instead.

"We characterize the situation in the Persian Gulf region as turbulent," the spokeswoman stated, referring to Operation Agenor in the Strait of Hormuz, supported by Belgium, Germany, Greece, Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and France. "Obviously excessive presence of foreign warships does not facilitate ease of tensions [in the region] but, on the contrary, creates an additional irritant."

According to the spokeswoman, the situation at hand "has been caused by escalation of an entire complex of issues."

"We call on all countries, interested in de-escalation and strengthening of regional stability, to review Russian proposal on setting up dialogue and creation of collective security system in the Persian Gulf region," she commented. "Russian approach to settlement of the situation is based on the principle of equal interaction of all regional and other interested sides, and strict compliance with the norms of the international law."

The situation in the Persian Gulf escalated on July 19 last year, after Stena Impero tanker bearing the UK flag was apprehended in the Strait of Hormuz by Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) forces.

According to the IRGC, the tanker was arrested over "violation of international rules" and was taken to the port for checking. 

The US Department of State announced that Washington created a coalition to ensure "freedom of navigation" in the Persian Gulf region. Australia, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, UAE and the UK announced their intention to join the coalition.

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