The West should swallow its pride and work with Russia to save the Middle East

Alexander Yakovenko is Russia’s ambassador to the United Kingdom

The successful conclusion of talks with Iran on its nuclear program was a rare bright spot on the otherwise gloomy horizon of the Middle Eastern affairs. That is a fundamental breakthrough, including in terms of political psychology, upon which, in theory, a sustainable regional architecture could be built.

First of all, given a lot of opportunities missed, including the Mohammed Khatami presidency and the late entry of Washington into the diplomatic process, it represents a triumph of common sense – of Westphalian principles and the diplomatic method over ideology, political conjuncture and threats of force. The deal reached between the main protagonists, helped by the multilateral environment and the flexibility it provides for give and take, testifies to a truth now universally acknowledged nowadays: that problems, both international and domestic, have no military solutions. It is highly encouraging that the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, as well as such regional powers like Germany and Iran, subscribed to this notion.

  • Jim Fox

    So… if/when Iran gets the Bomb, will the 5+1 have some excuse?
    Will they be shocked that Iran lied to the west for 20 years?

    “How could we know? How could they do such a thing?”

  • Martin B

    “…testifies to a truth universally acknowledged nowadays: that problems, both international and domestic, have no military solutions”

    You mean problems like Crimea, Mr Russian Ambassador?

  • Norman_In_New_York

    Despite a brief mention in passing, Israel is the elephant in the ambassador’s room.

  • Africa

    “…The West should swallow its pride and work with Russia to save the Middle East…”
    The ambassador is right but will the fanatical Western world which is obsessed with “LGBTQ” moral relativism, destruction of Christianity and support for islam listen to this good advice? They will not!

  • Dan Howe

    Our relationship with Russia has not been very smart since the fall of the Soviet Union. They are probably the best natural ally we would have. We have no touch point where there should be conflict. But besides our ineptnes, Putin’s politics of anti-US bluster probably make meaningful cooperation impossible in the short run.

    It is a shame.

    • Clausewitz

      Former head of the KGB wanting to re instate the Soviet system and continue to expand. Yeah no one ever thought that could happen.

    • Russia is no ally. Make no mistake.

  • Fran800

    The ambassador is a diplomat and so presents everything from the Russian point of view, which we may not entirely agree with. However in the main point he is right. Here a a few commentaries by Westerners who are normally considered conservatives. None of them are pro-Communist.

    Nigel Farage debates the moron Nick Clegg on Russia. Notice
    that most of the comments agree that Clegg is a moron.


    Paleoconservative and Russia expert Peter Hitchens speaks to
    Laura Ingraham on Russia a year ago. Note: do not confuse Peter with his idiot
    dead brother Christopher. Notice the first commenter does that, accusing him of
    being an atheist. Peter is a devout Anglican, a position he came to after
    living in Communist Soviet Union.


    Canadian professor Paul Robinson dissects the idiocy of CISIS
    in Russia.


  • ismiselemeas

    This comes out immediately after recent editorials that show Russia is complicit in pushing its hard core islamic terrorists south to fight with ISIS in order to tie up the west in that region thus allowing Russia to conduct war on its borders further north. So, no, everything that comes out of the Putin governments mouth is frankly a lie and not to be trusted. The problem for Russia is that the west is not engaging to the level that Russia had presupposed and is faced with the very real possibility of hard core islamic factions returning, emboldened, armed to the eye teeth and hungry for conquest. Moscow has way more muslims per capita than any other European city and must be shitting herself at the thought. They’ll be begging to become a part of Europe before long.

  • dance…dancetotheradio

    Hello, Andrew Coyne here.
    On the other hand, the West should team up with Russia to vanquish the middle east.

  • This sounds like a bunch of Soviet/Putin apologia.

    As usual, the Russians would have the West forget its ties to Iran and focus our military energies on ISIS which Russia would rather not waste any more men fighting.

    How can these guys lift their heads?