Vladimir Putin “ready to exploit the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” to crush the West | World | New
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Russia is ready and willing to exploit the conflict in the Middle East in order to crush the West, Express.co.uk was told. It comes as Israel and Palestine enter the fourth day of a ceasefire called last week. The truce was held despite skirmishes that erupted in Jerusalem shortly after.
Eleven days of violence and bloodshed saw more than 250 people killed, most of whom lived in the Gaza Strip.
World leaders have rushed to call for an end to the clashes, some more vehement than others.
The diplomat noted that “Russia and China appear to have a more neutral stance on the conflict.”
Moscow called on both sides to “defuse tensions and peacefully resolve emerging issues,” China’s stance being broadly similar.
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Many argue that Russia is increasingly willing to calculate what it might gain from geopolitical crises such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and how it might use events to claim victory over the West.
Professor Julian Lindley-French, an internationally renowned strategic analyst and defense adviser, said that if Russia had not yet made a move to do so, it would be ready to “exploit” the situation if it saw fit.
The veteran analyst recently co-authored a book, “ Future War, ” exploring how the United States and Europe could consolidate their military forces in the face of growing threats from Russia and China, as well. than to manage new and advanced techniques. conflict.
Asked about Mr Putin’s role in the recent outbreak of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Professor Lindley-French replied: âHe sees all of this in terms of geopolitics and his competition with the West and with Europe.
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âPutin has a kind of agreement with Recep Erdogan in Turkey, but it is only an agreement, it is not that deep; he has spoken to Benjamin Netanyahu and has connections in Syria and Tehran.
âBut the way Russia sees it is that if it’s a problem for the Americans and for Europe – the West – then it can be exploited.
âThe Russians are a spoiler these days, they’re non-binding, and their whole philosophy is a zero-sum game with the West.
“If the West is in trouble, it must be good for Russia. I call it the Lubyanka Complex, something that played out during the Cold War with the KGB: that if the West was in trouble, the Russia wins, if Russia is troubled the West must win. “
At the start of the recent outbreak of the conflict, Russia seemed to want to declare itself one of the four great world powers, calling for a meeting of the Quartet of international mediators, established in 2002 but long silent.
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After a brief interview with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said: “I think we have come to a common conclusion that the most urgent task is to convene a meeting of the United Nations. quartet of international mediators: Russia, the United States, the UN and the European Union.
“And we trust the Secretary General as the coordinator of the quartet.”
However, nothing came of Russia’s suggestion.
European powers will be looking to see to what extent Russia is involved in Belarusian affairs after President Alexander Lukashekno was accused of hijacking a Ryanair flight with opposition activist and journalist Roman Protasevich on board.
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Mr Protasevich was taken away by Belarusian police and was only seen in a video link ‘confessing’ to his crimes, which analysts say he was forced to commit.
The EU has since agreed to tighten sanctions against Belarus, calling for Belarusian airlines to be banned from flying over EU territory.
They also urged EU-based airlines to avoid flying over Belarusian airspace, measures that would be huge financial blows for the country.
It is important to note that Belarus has been subject to sanctions since 2004.
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Russia has close ties to Belarus – the country being a former satellite state of the Soviet Union – although the allegiance of Mr Putin and Mr Lukashenko has been historically fragile.
The country has since defended Belarus, with analysts suggesting Moscow would benefit from Belarus’ further estrangement from the West.
Russia called the outcry over the apprehended theft “shocking” and accused the West of having double standards.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote on Facebook on Monday: “It is shocking that the West is calling the incident in Belarusian airspace ‘shocking’.”
‘Future War and the Defense of Europe’, written by John R. Allen, Frederick Ben Hodges and Julian Lindley-French, is published by Oxford University Press and out now.