Russian foreign policy makers have slammed Israel’s latest statements condemning the recently agreed ceasefire in south-western Syria between Russia, the United States and Jordan.
During his press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his opposition to the ceasefire under the guise that it would embolden Iran and its allies, even though Iran is not a party to the south-eastern ceasefire, it is instead a party to the de-escalation zones established with Russia and Turkey via the Astana Memorandum of May 2017.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has responded by stating,
“I can guarantee that the American side and we did the best we can to make sure that Israel’s security interests are fully taken into consideration”.
Later, Konstantin Kosachev, the Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Federation Council, issued a Facebook post detailing his view of Israel’s position. Kosachev frequently offers public statements indicating Russia’s position in foreign affairs as he is among the top policy makers on such issues in the upper house of the Federal Assembly of Russia.
“The sharp disagreement between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the agreement between Russia and the United States on the ceasefire in Syria is, of course, a very unpleasant signal. It is extremely important that this important agreement be supported by all key Middle Eastern players.
Earlier, Washington (Deputy Assistant to US President Sebastian Gorka) claimed that the terms of the agreement were negotiated with the participation of Israel and Jordan. It turns out that everything is not so simple.
Israel’s motives are not concealed: it is afraid of strengthening Iran’s position in the region, and also, it seems, restrictions on Tel Aviv’s ability to act against Assad. However, no one will cancel such an important document that gives hope for a turning point in the Syrian situation, only because of Israel’s assumptions about Iran’s hypothetical intentions. Tehran is just as weighty a participant in the Middle East processes, like Israel. And he secured his role in the Syrian settlement with an active position on this issue, both in a diplomatic format (in particular, in the negotiations in Astana, where Iran is a guarantor along with Russia and Turkey), and on the fields of military confrontation with the common enemy-terrorists.
Israel’s motives are not concealed: it fears the strengthening of Iran’s position in the region, and also, it appears, limited possibilities for Tel Aviv itself to act against (Syria’s President) Assad. However, nobody will be revoking such an important document that gives hopes for a breakthrough in the Syrian situation only because of Israel’s assumptions about Iran’s posthypnotic intentions
That is why, it would be more reasonable for Tel Aviv not to come down on the already reached agreement between Russia and the US, but instead find ways how to live with it and reap benefits from victory over Islamic State (ISIS) which benefit all countries of the region
Perhaps it would be prudent for Washington to conduct in-depth talks with its key ally in the Middle East in securing a truce, without which the promotion of the peace process in Syria is impossible.
Perhaps, it would be worth it also for Moscow (to do so)”.
It is clear that Russia is perturbed by Israel’s opposition to the ceasefire. As Konstantin Kosachev alluded to, the regional commitment to security from terrorism that all states in the region ought to be concerned with, should take precedence over Israel’s rivalry with Iran which is not in fact a party to the ceasefire in question.
Thus far, Israel is the only country which borders Syria that has not faced any attacks from Salafist terrorists who are participating the Syrian conflict.