Moscow: The Russian Ambassador to Israel had accused Israel of the tension in the Middle East and not Iran and Hezbollah. This statement received fuming reactions from Israel over the statement. Israel summoned Russian Ambassador Anatoly Viktorov in the matter. But Russia stood behind the Ambassador and commented that Israel is unnecessarily sensitive over the statement.
Russian Ambassador Viktorov had said ‘Iran and Hezbollah do not attack Israel. At the same time, Israel is violating the Syrian border and launching attacks. These Israeli attacks by invading another member of the United Nations, is a violation of international regulations. This has created tension in the Gulf region.’ The Russian Ambassador made a surprising claim that there is no proof that Hezbollah has built underground tunnels near the Israeli border.
Observers from the United Nations have already expressed concerns over the underground tunnels built by Hezbollah near the Israeli border. But the Russian Ambassador seems to have absolved Hezbollah from the accusation through this interview. Israel has taken serious cognisance of the Russian Ambassador’s statements during his interview with an Israeli newspaper. Major repercussions have been felt of these statements and Israel issued summons to the Russian Ambassador.
Alon Bar, the Director for diplomatic policies in the Israel foreign ministry lambasted the Russian Ambassador. He reminded the Russian Ambassador that Iran affiliated Hezbollah is a terrorist organisation. He also reminded the Russian Ambassador that even Hezbollah has announced annihilation of Israel. Israel lashed out that the Russian Ambassador’s statements cross the limit and completely ignore the actual situation in the Middle East.
Bar warned Viktorov that Russia should enter into bilateral discussions, instead of making inciting statements, to know the actual situation in the Gulf. Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi also clarified that the accusations made by the Russian Ambassador would never be acceptable. Russia has given its reaction after 10 days of Israel lambasting its Ambassador.
Maria Zakharova, the Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman, criticised that the Israeli reaction to the interview is unnecessarily extra sensitive. The stance taken by the Russian Ambassador had also been presented in various meetings with Israel, in the past. Zakharova said that the Russian stand is no way different from the Ambassador. Russia has always kept Palestine as the central issue for peace and stability in the Gulf. Zakharova, the Russian foreign ministry spokesman, clarified that Russia can still play its role to achieve this objective. While saying this, Zakharova made a serious accusation that the tension in the Middle East exists because of the Israeli airstrikes in Syria.
Meanwhile, Russia seems to have been disturbed because of the tough stand adopted by Israel. This is becoming clear from the reaction given by the Russian foreign ministry. Even in the past, Russia had taken a firm stand against Israeli airstrikes in Syria. Thus, Russia has time and again stood against Israel and with Iran.