On March 15, the Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov received senior Hizballah officials in Moscow; two days later, Lavrov’s Israeli counterpart, Gabi Ashkenazi, arrived in the same city for consultations. Shortly thereafter, Lavrov set off for the Persian Gulf, while Vladimir Putin flew to Turkey, where he attended the ribbon-cutting of a nuclear plant Russia built. Jonathan Spyer notes that in these meetings alone, the Kremlin shored up relations with all three of the Middle East’s rival blocs: the Iran-Syria-Hizballah axis, the Sunni Islamists led by Qatar and Turkey, and the pro-Western countries led by Saudi Arabia, Israel, Egypt, and the UAE.
How Russia Plays All Sides of the Middle East’s Power Struggles, and Wins
How Israel Can Readjust Its Diplomacy for a Changing Europe
In recent years, Jerusalem has developed good relations with a group of Central European countries that have proved far more sympathetic than those of the West, and whose governments have sometimes stopped the European Union from issuing anti-Israel statements. But Europe, both East and West, is now in a state of political flux, and this approach may soon be obsolete. Emmanuel Navon proposes a new direction for Jewish state that capitalizes on its economic ties with Western Europe. Take, for instance, post-Angela Merkel Germany: