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Ukraine crisis could strengthen Russia-Iran-China ties

Iran will officially remain neutral on Ukraine, but the outcome of the crisis could mean a strengthening of ties with Russia, as both countries share many strategic interests.
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Tensions between Russia and the West have simmered since Ukraine’s Russian-leaning president, Viktor Yanukovych, was ousted on Feb. 21. The crisis culminated when the Crimean Peninsula’s local government, with 60% of its inhabitants identifying themselves as ethnic Russians, called for a referendum on seceding the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine. While observers view the current Ukraine standoff as the gravest post-Cold War between the West and Moscow, the impasse over Iran’s nuclear crisis is also considered the greatest challenge to Iran-West relations.

Iran will remain neutral in this conflict, despite that the crisis in Ukraine may result in a favorable outcome to its future including the standoff with the West over its nuclear program. A senior Iranian official said, “Iran would surely stay out of this dispute [over Ukraine].” However, the crisis in Ukraine could have possible impacts on Russia-Iran relations.

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