A newly-formed governing council in Yemen could work with Russia to “fight terrorism” by allowing Moscow use of the war-torn country’s military bases, Yemen’s former president said on Sunday.

Ali Abdullah Saleh, a former counter-terrorism ally of the U.S. who was toppled by mass protests in 2011, told state-owned channel Russia 24 that Yemen was ready to grant Moscow access to air and naval bases.

“In the fight against terrorism we reach out and offer all facilities. Our airports, our ports… We are ready to provide this to the Russian Federation,” Saleh said in an interview in Sanaa.

The ex-strongman may lack the clout to implement such an offer. But officials from the party he heads now run a political council that controls much of the country along with the Houthi movement allied to Iran.