Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Another view on Hamas visit to Russia

During a political talk show on RTVi channel, an Ukrainian journalist and an expert in politics Vitaliy Portnikov has voiced an interesting opinion on the recent visit of Hamas officials to Moscow.
He said that by inviting Hamas to Kremlin, Russian government has placed itself into a political trap. If you take a moment and try to think what will be next, there are only two options concerning Hamas. Either they change their spots and turn into another Fatah or they keep openly support and use terror. In the first case they are going to deal with America, leaving Russia out, except for getting fake academic degrees (like M. Abbas). In the second, besides becoming a fair game for Israeli military, they will become an embarrassment to Russian government and the Russian government will have no choice but to stop dealing with them and by doing so acknowledge their mistake. In either case Russia looses.
Therefore another question rises: why did Russia invite Hamas?
There is no clear answer to that. There is a possibility that it was made in an attempt to satisfy Russia's longing to the lost days of glory when the Soviet Union was one of the world powers. It also could be used to keep a illusion that Russia is still calling the shots in both the internal Russian public opinion and in some other countries that for various reason prefer to live in their own virtual reality. Actually many in the west are also buying the bait, trying to figure out the reasons for Russia decision. So it is possible that this was their bet, which will not change the final outcome.
This is the reason that U.S government doesn't worry too much about this visit. Meanwhile, in Russia Hamas has received an American message: change you ways or leave the political arena, feet first.

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