Russia Seeks to Exploit Escalating Troubles in the Middle East

15 May 2019

(EDM) Russia tries to maintain a finger in every conflict in the Middle East, and President Vladimir Putin seeks to cultivate connections with various parties in multiple quarrels. Presently, however, the Kremlin’s access is being curtailed: Moscow, for instance, cannot find an entry point into the exploding crisis in Gaza. Furthermore, Putin clearly disapproves of the removal of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika in Algeria under pressure from street protests; similarly, the Russian head of state opposes the ousting of his Sudanese counterpart, Omar al-Bashir, by military coup. But Moscow has been unable to employ any useful assets to make a difference in either crisis. The war in Yemen is also beyond Russia’s reach. And in Libya, the pretenses of Russian diplomacy engaging in mediation are far from convincing (Kommersant, May 7). At the moment, the most consequential crisis is developing around Iran, and Russia seeks to grasp every opportunity to boost its role, necessitating simultaneously moves in opposite directions. [...]

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