Russian FM Lavrov to visit Bahrain today

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will visit Bahrain today. Following this trip, Lavrov will travel to Saudi Arabia for a

Russian FM Sergey Lavrov will visit Bahrain today

Russian FM Sergey Lavrov will visit Bahrain today as part of a broader Russian push to increase relations with GCC countries – Photo: Gulf International Forum

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will visit Bahrain today.

Following this trip, Lavrov will travel to Saudi Arabia for a meeting of the Russia-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Foreign Ministers Forum.

Expect Lavrov to discuss Bahrain’s concerns regarding Iran’s growing regional power, especially given the advancement of its nuclear program. Gulf countries have grown impatient with inconsistent US pressure on Iran and may increasingly turn to Russia as a security guarantor. Increased arms sales will likely be one manifestation of this reinforced dependence on Russian hard power. GCC countries already rely on the Kremlin for a portion of their weapons imports.

Moreover, abstentions from GCC members including Saudi Arabia and the UAE from punishing Russia for the Ukraine conflict served as a direct repudiation of Western foreign policy objectives. In the medium-term Russia will try to insert itself as a major player in the Middle East as part of a long-term ambition to regain geopolitical prominence. While Bahrain has traditionally been a key regional strategic partner for Washington, the country feels ever more threatened by Tehran and ever less confident in American defense. As the Ukraine conflict rages on and Iranian aggression continues, GCC countries will find it increasingly difficult to maintain the balancing act between Russia and the West.

Download the Daily Brief app to stay ahead of geopolitics with daily, short, forward-looking analysis of geopolitical events before they hit the headlines.