Russia has no plans of tightening security in Strait of Hormuz

Moscow is not planning to beef up its military presence in the Strait of Hormuz in the wake of the recent oil tanker attacks, Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) Defense Committee Chairman Vladimir Shamanov told Izvestia. According to him, Russian vessels are not in jeopardy and therefore there are no grounds for tightening security. Meanwhile, the United States, the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia have deployed additional forces to the Gulf of Oman, supposedly to protect their vessels from the Iranian threat.

However, other European countries have not responded to this clear provocation against Iran and the incident is unlikely to spoil their relations with the Islamic Republic, experts told the paper.

The Strait of Hormuz has strategic importance for the entire oil market: up to 40% of the world's hydrocarbon exports pass through it. However, as far as Russia is concerned, it has own channels for exporting hydrocarbons, so for Moscow, Hormuz is less important. That’s why the presence of Russia’s warships tasked with protecting navigation in the strait is not large-scale, Shamanov explained.

Russia and China are refraining from taking hasty steps following the example of Washington, which rushed to point fingers at Iran over the attack on the tankers. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas expressed doubts over Washington's evidence on Tehran’s alleged involvement in the explosion. According to Director of the Center on the Near and Middle East at the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies Vladimir Fitin, Berlin’s behavior proves that Western Europe is not ready to give up its partnership with Iran. "US statement on Tehran’s involvement in the attacks is the same fake news as its rhetoric on the use of chemical weapons by the government of Bashar Assad," the expert said. "Western Europeans are not that blind to swallow any bait, which Washington gives them. They are well aware that this is an unfounded accusation, and that’s why they won’t rush to sever ties with Iran like in the case with the nuclear deal." The EU is unlikely to slap sanctions on Tehran until an international investigation into the tanker attacks is over. The expert noted that the attack on oil tankers in the Persian Gulf is apparently not the last. The US will continue pursuing its own game against Iran and carrying out similar provocations, Fitin said.

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