The Russian leader attributes the escalation of violence to a flawed U.S. Middle East policy that overlooked the Palestinian aspirations.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed his grave concern about the significant rise in civilian casualties during the ongoing conflict between Israel and Gaza. In a phone call with Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Kremlin issued a statement indicating their shared worry about the escalating violence and the increasing toll on civilians. Both leaders emphasized the urgent need for an immediate ceasefire and the resumption of peace negotiations. Erdogan also voiced his regret regarding the targeting of civilian infrastructure, stating that Turkey disapproves of such actions.
Additionally, Putin has criticized the United States’ Middle East policy, attributing the recent surge in violence to its failure to consider the aspirations of Palestinians. During a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed al-Sudani, Putin described the situation as a clear example of the shortcomings of U.S. policy in the Middle East. He accused the United States of attempting to monopolize the peace efforts between Israel and the Palestinians, asserting that the U.S. did not seek mutually acceptable compromises but instead imposed its own solution.
Putin pointed out that the U.S. had disregarded the Palestinian interests, including their desire for an independent state. It’s worth noting that Putin did not address Russia’s role in the Middle East peace process. Russia, along with the U.S., the United Nations, and the European Union, has been a part of the Quartet, aimed at mediating Israeli-Palestinian peace talks since 2002.
The Kremlin spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, mentioned that Russia was in contact with both conflicting parties in Israel and Gaza and intended to play a role in resolving the crisis. However, he did not specify the exact means by which Russia would contribute to the resolution. Russia aims to appear neutral in the ongoing conflict, highlighting its relations with both Israelis and Palestinians.
The Russian Foreign Ministry also indicated its readiness to help facilitate a settlement between Israel and the Palestinians by coordinating with regional stakeholders. Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stated that they are in close contact with key regional players and consider their involvement crucial in stabilizing the situation and creating conditions for direct Palestinian-Israeli dialogue.