JISS - The Jerusalem Institute for Strategic Studies

 

Comment by Col. (res.) Dr. Eran Lerman

The Media Line, 06.01.2018

 

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov picked up where Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas left off with his own rebuke of the Trump administration this week, accusing it of destabilizing the world, a move seen as Russia angling to take over as mediator between the Israelis and Palestinians.

“The U.S. wants to dictate ultimatums and is unwilling to listen to other centers of power,” Lavrov said during a more than two-hour press conference Monday in Moscow. “They are unwilling to accept a multi-polar world.”

Lavrov discussed a range of issues during the annual question and answer session with the media, including the ongoing fighting in Syria, the North Korean threat and the Iran nuclear deal, which he called a “major achievement.”

“The reality is, Iran has been abiding by the agreement, the IAEA says that,” Lavrov said. “We will not support what the United States is trying to do, changing the wording of the agreement, incorporating things that will be absolutely unacceptable for Iran.”

Dr. Eran Lerman, vice president of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategic Studies, told The Media Line that Lavrov’s comments were, “very much in line with what we expect from the Russians.” He said, “It’s a bit of anti-Trump posturing,” adding that it appears Russia is “angling for a position as mediator” not so much to broker peace, but more so, “to make sure that the United States doesn’t monopolize anything.”

Lavrov’s comments follow Abbas’ critical statements against the Trump Administration and Israel on Sunday, in which he described Israel as a colonial creation of European powers, declared the U.S. could no longer serve as mediator between the Israelis and Palestinians, instituted a boycott of the Trump administration and, in a bizarre personal attack on President Trump, said: “May God demolish your house.”

President Trump has yet to respond to Abbas, either in a public statement or tweet, and there was no immediate comment from the White House about Lavrov’s statements.

 

 

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