Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Israel will rethink its bilateral relations with Russia after it invited Hamas to Moscow. In addition, Israel is also concerned about Russia compromise position regarding the Iranian nuclear issue.
It appears that Vladimir Putin longs for the days when the Soviet Empire was a major player in the Middle East and often sided with whomever the West opposed. I don't believe Putin is a friend of Hamas nor Iran, yet he only wants to increase Russia's political influence in the region and simply make his country more important and influential through relations with hated entities. By opening a dialogue channel with Hamas, he will make Russia the only country the US and Europe are forced to turn to in case they wanted to send "undertable" messages to Palestine's new leaders. The same goes with Russia's relation with the Iranian Mullahs.
Putin still believes Russia today can still have the same influence the Soviet Union once had. Or at least a small part of it.
Another thing. By being the first European country to invite Hamas, Putin befriended and extended his hand to a very popular Islamist organization in the Muslim world. This action will intercede for him when he fights his own Islamists in the south.
No one can say he's not being smart especially with the tremendous influence Islamists have across the region.