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Russia's Middle East policy after the G-20 summit

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, ever skeptical of US intentions, elaborates on Russia's policies in the Middle East — and risks alienating the West.
Russia's President Vladimir Putin attends a news conference at the end of the G20 summit in Brisbane November 16, 2014. Putin said on Sunday that there is a "good chance of resolution" in the Ukraine conflict, contradicting Western concerns over an escalation in fighting in the southeast of the country. REUTERS/Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin (RUSSIA - Tags: POLITICS HEADSHOT PROFILE) THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLI
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Relations between Russia and the United States, as well as between Russia and US-oriented European countries, further deteriorated following the G-20 summit in Brisbane due to the crisis in Ukraine. This poses the question for analysts as to how this situation might affect Moscow’s Middle East policy and the existing forms of cooperation with the West on regional issues, namely: the Middle East quartet of international mediators; the negotiations of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany (P5+1) with Iran; the stabilization of the situation in Yemen; and the fight against terrorism.

Naturally, this kind of cooperation will be preserved, with Russia even bearing some of the political costs. For example, at the 2014 Conference on Non-Proliferation held in Moscow, one of the Iranian participants criticized Russia for its position in the P5+1 talks with Iran — clearly hinting at Russia’s solidarity with the West, rather than with Iran — to which the Russian participant emphasized that in this Moscow was guided exclusively by its national interest.

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