Revisionist Russia fuelling war in Middle East: Eurasia Chairman Cliff Kupchan | EXCLUSIVE

| Updated: 20 October, 2023 9:09 pm IST
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Israel and Hamas are currently engaged in a conflict following surprise cross-border raids by the Palestinian militant group from Gaza. These raids resulted in over 1,400 casualties and hostage situations. In response, Israel conducted extensive airstrikes in the territory, according to Palestinian authorities, resulting in thousands of casualties. The situation has left many residents in the densely populated and economically challenged territory in urgent need of assistance. There are concerns that the crisis could escalate further, potentially involving neighbouring countries, as Israel is widely expected to launch a ground offensive.

Now, in an exclusive interview with The New Indian, geopolitical risk firm, Eurasia Group’s Chairman, Cliff Kupchan, has discussed how Russia, which has not classified Hamas as a “terrorist” group, in contrast to the stance taken by many Western countries, has been fuelling war in the Middle East.

While the world came together to condemn the killing of Israeli civilians by the Palestinian group Hamas, resulting in the deaths of 1,400 Israelis, injuries to 2,600, and the kidnapping of 200 to Gaza, Russia took a distinct approach. President Vladimir Putin viewed the attack and the expected ground invasion of the Gaza Strip as an opportunity to improve his international standing and increase his influence in the Middle East during this critical crisis. By attributing blame to the Biden administration, Putin remarked that this situation exemplifies the shortcomings of US policy in the Middle East.

Discussing Russia’s role in escalating the conflict, Kupchan said, “I don’t think that Russia has done anything constructive. Putin’s Russia, by far the most revisionist state in the world, wants to throw dynamite into flammable material. And here, all I’ve heard is Russia trying to blame the US for what happened, for its over-support of Israel, and for not being balanced at all.”

Also Read: US casts sole veto, derails UN peace resolution on Israel-Palestine

China too has continuously advocated for restraint and a cessation of hostilities, while simultaneously intensifying its disapproval of Israel. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi stated that Israel’s actions have exceeded the boundaries of self-defence, urging it to cease its practice of “collective punishment” on Gaza residents, as reported by Chinese state media.

Shedding light on China’s stance on the conflict, he opined, “Since China does not have the diplomatic contacts and the energy to play the role of a mediator, it is trying to use this opportunity to enhance their reputation as champions of the developing world. So, the US has been the star, so far.”

He added that although China’s influence in the Middle East has notably increased, particularly in the Gulf, with strong ties to Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Bahrain, its influence in the Levant (a large area in the Eastern Mediterranean region of West Asia) appears to be less pronounced. Therefore, China’s role will involve a lot of words but limited action.

Watch Full Interview Here:


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