Executive Intelligence Review


Russian Ambassador To Israel Stresses Russia’s Commitment To National Sovereignty

Oct. 1, 2018 (EIRNS)—Anatoly Viktorov, a career Russian diplomat who recently took up residence as the Russian ambassador to Israel, gave an interview to the Jerusalem Post in which he stressed throughout, Russia’s adherence to the principle of national sovereignty. First off, he explained the reasons behind the Russian military intervention in Syria, to prevent a nation-state collapse of the sort that happened in Iraq and Libya after the U.S. military interventions in those two countries, and to fight terrorist groups that could take their terrorism back to Russia.

With respect to Iran’s presence in Syria, Viktorov said that the Iranians did indeed agree to move their forces 80-100 km back from Israeli border; but

“we have expressed on many occasions at the highest levels that it is unrealistic to expect that Iranian troops will be forcibly expelled from Syria, because it is a matter of agreement between the Syrian government and Iran.”

When the interviewer told Viktorov that the assumption in Israel is that Russia could tell the Iranians to leave and they would, the diplomat replied:

“We consider all our counterparts as legitimate members of the UN, with their interests in the region.... We cannot just make an order to the sovereign state of Iran and they will follow it.”

But he also acknowledged that Russia understands Israel’s concerns.

“We are being honest with our Iranian colleagues and telling them directly that we cannot accept a position which puts into question the existence of Israel. That is unacceptable to us.”

With regard to the Israeli air strikes in Syria, Viktorov said,

“As a matter of principle, we are against any interventions or violations of Syrian sovereignty and territorial integrity, and of course we reacted when necessary [through Foreign Ministry statements] on some strikes made by the Israeli military.”

Viktorov further explained:

“President Putin’s attitude is a reflection of our policy that foreign policy is not politicized, and does not have an ideological color. We are ready to connect and communicate with all countries around the world and why should Israel be excluded from this approach?”