Saturday, May 18, 2024

Russia treads cautiously amid the Israel-Hamas conflict in its quest for global influence.

Russia is navigating the Israel-Hamas conflict with a measured approach, offering calculated criticism of both parties. This stance not only serves Moscow’s goal of becoming a prominent global power broker but also challenges Western attempts to isolate Russia due to its involvement in Ukraine.

While Russia may not influence to directly mediate a Middle East resolution, it can exploit perceived credibility issues in the Western response to the crisis. Moscow believes that the present Israel-Hamas conflict increases the chances of diverting attention at the international level from the present conflict that is going on between Russia and Ukraine. This may undermine support for Kyiv. Certainly, it has some risks, including straining Russia’s relationship with Israel, which has refrained from providing military assistance to Ukraine.

Putin’s Complex Stance in the Israel-Hamas Conflict

Further, Vladimir Putin denounced the October 7 Hamas attack on southern Israeli towns and cautioned against Israel’s Gaza Strip blockade that turned out to be a breaking BNN news today. It also drew historical parallels to WWII’s Leningrad siege. He also accused U.S. diplomacy of offering financial aid to Palestinians while neglecting Palestinian statehood efforts.

China and Russia are united in backing the Russian proposal.

China joined a select group of nations supporting the Russian proposal, aligning their stance with Moscow. Middle East-based Chinese and Russian diplomats reaffirmed their dedication to a two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian issue and explored cooperative strategies for de-escalation.

In contrast to prompt visits to Israel by Western leaders like Joe Biden and Rishi Sunak to express support, Vladimir Putin’s delayed communication with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, despite their prior close ties, was notable.

Putin also engaged in discussions regarding the conflict with leaders from Iran, Syria, and Egypt, along with the head of the Palestinian Authority.

Putin Urges Diplomacy in Call with Netanyahu

In his further conversation with the Israeli Prime Minister, President Putin extended his condolences to the families affected by Hamas attacks and voiced strong condemnation for actions causing harm to civilian populations, specifically women and children. Putin emphasized seeking a peaceful settlement through diplomatic and political means, with some Russian officials criticizing Hamas’s view of Israel’s response as disproportionate.

Russia’s Delicate Balancing Act in the Israel-Palestine Conflict

The leader of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, backed by Moscow, voiced strong support for the Palestinians and criticized Israel for land capture and blockades. While this stance earned praise from Hamas and popularity in the Arab world, it risks straining Russia’s friendly relations with Israel, which has refrained from imposing Western sanctions on Russia or providing weapons to Ukraine. Diplomatic officials have expressed Israeli displeasure with Russia’s role in the conflict and hope for more balanced positions from the Kremlin.

Netanyahu’s Likud party members accused Russia of supporting Hamas, with implications that Israel would seek to support Ukraine in response. However, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov emphasized Russia’s condemnation of terrorism and its call for a swift ceasefire and a Palestinian state. There are mixed sympathies in Russia, with some prominent voices supporting Israel while others express differing views.

Amidst growing tensions, the complex dynamics of international diplomacy and differing perspectives are prominently featured in the latest BNN News Today.

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