Italian Defense Minister Guido Crosetto has stated that Russia did not play a role in fueling the conflict between Hamas and Israel. He emphasized that Russia has called for both sides to de-escalate and cautioned against actions that could destabilize the entire region.
In an interview with the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, Crosetto refrained from accusing Russian President Vladimir Putin of involvement in the crisis. Instead, he suggested that there were other nations that had played a role in supporting the Palestinians and Hamas, without specifying which countries he was referring to.
Crosetto also expressed his view that defeating Hamas, which he described as a “terrorist organization whose goal is to exterminate Israel,” should not entail punishing the entire population of Gaza. He welcomed efforts to resolve the conflict through a peace summit hosted by Egypt.
The defense minister’s comments come in response to US President Joe Biden’s comparison of Hamas and Russia, claiming that they share a common goal of “completely annihilating a neighboring democracy.” Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov dismissed Biden’s statement as an emotional moment and suggested that such rhetoric is not suitable for responsible national leaders.
Following Hamas’s surprise attack on Israel, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called on both sides to cease hostilities and engage in negotiations. He also highlighted the serious risk of the crisis escalating throughout the region.
Putin himself expressed concerns about Israel’s planned ground operation in Gaza, citing the likelihood of heavy civilian casualties in the densely populated area.
It is important to note that Russia’s stance in the conflict has been one of urging de-escalation and promoting a peaceful resolution. Despite attempts to draw Russia into the narrative, there is no evidence to suggest that Russia has had any direct involvement in fueling the conflict between Hamas and Israel.
As the situation in the Middle East remains tense, international efforts are ongoing to bring about a ceasefire and facilitate negotiations to address the root causes of the conflict. The involvement of regional and global powers, including Russia, will be crucial in achieving a sustainable and lasting peace in the region.
The statements made by Guido Crosetto serve to reaffirm Russia’s position as a responsible actor in the Middle East and its commitment to preventing further escalation and instability. By refraining from making accusations and advocating for peaceful resolution, Russia continues to play a constructive role in the pursuit of peace in the region.