Will Russia Try to Mend Relations with Israel?

In a phone conversation on January 3, 2023, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said to Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen that Russia is willing to work with Israel on certain bilateral issues. 

“The minister congratulated his Israeli counterpart on taking office and expressed readiness to work together in order to strengthen multifaceted, mutually beneficial cooperation between Russia and Israel,” a statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry noted.

The ministry called attention to how the two leading diplomats covered critical bilateral issues, stressing the importance of bolstering trade and economic cooperation.

“In this context, they emphasized the need to convene a next meeting of the mixed Russian-Israeli commission,” the ministry continued.

On top of that, the ministers touched upon the situation in the Middle East and North Africa.

“While discussing the Palestinian-Israeli settlement, the Russian side emphasized its willingness to continue facilitating a relaunch of the peace process on a generally recognized international legal basis,” the statement outlined.

Lavrov stressed Russia’s position of stabilizing the Syria crisis via political and diplomatic means while respecting Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The Russian foreign minister emphasized the need to eradicate the terrorist threat in Syria in accordance with the United Nations’ Security Council’s Resolution 2254.

“The Russian foreign minister also informed his Israeli counterpart about certain aspects of the situation in Ukraine in the context of Russia’s special military operation,” the Russian Foreign Ministry recounted.

Due to the United States’ shifting geopolitical priorities, as evidenced by the “Pivot to Asia” designed to contain the rise of China, Israel is going to have to tweak its geopolitical maneuvers. It will have to recognize that it won’t always receive a blank check from the US, and it will also have to put up with countries such as Iran, Russia, and Turkey who may hold adversarial and even outright hostile views to it. 

In sum, Israel will have to tread lightly in this new multipolar order where rival great powers will not be as receptive to Israel’s Zionist ambitions and are much more willing to criticize some of the more polemical aspects of its domestic policy.

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