The Global Eye in dialogue with Bat Chen Druyan Feldman, a Research Assistant at the Russia Program, The Institute for National Security Studies (Israel). Bat Chen is PhD student at Tel Aviv University and her research focuses on Soviet and Iranian intellectual history. She has a B.A in Philosophy and Middle Eastern Studies and an M.A in Middle Eastern Studies from Ben-Gurion University
Relations between Israel and Russia are complex. Why do you think the Kremlin did not condemn the Hamas attack on October 7?
Until October 7th, Russia aimed to maintain relationships with both Israel and Hamas. This approach is grounded, among other factors, in its foreign policy strategy to cultivate connections with different parties in conflicts and enhance its global standing through mediation. Given the ongoing situation in Ukraine and the notable deepening of relations between Russia and Iran, Russia’s strategic considerations lean towards favoring Iran and its affiliated groups, including Hamas. Russia’s interest in fostering connections with the Iranian axis may provide insight into its response to the atrocities of Hamas.
How is Russia moving at a regional level?
The Middle East holds strategic importance for Russia, and it is actively enhancing its connections with diverse countries and entities in the region. Within the Middle East, Russia is acknowledged as a key international player by its partners. The conflict in Gaza is unlikely to significantly impact Russia’s relationships with other Middle Eastern countries, including Turkey, the UAE, or Egypt.
How do you see the post-war period?
The war has demonstrated that the “conflict management” strategy employed in Israel has strengthened both the terror organizations Hamas and Hezbollah. Following the war’s conclusion, Israel will need to seek lasting solutions and actively work towards a two-state solution.
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