Live tv
search
  1. You Are At:
  2. English News
  3. Opinion
  4. Russia Ukraine War: Where do middle eastern countries stand?

Russia Ukraine War: Where do middle eastern countries stand?

As the crisis spreads, it is not just the Europen countries that are expecting the shockwaves but also several Middle Eastern countries.

Hritika Mitra Written by: Hritika Mitra @MitraHritika New Delhi Updated on: February 27, 2022 17:15 IST
A woman weeps in her car after crossing the border from
Image Source : AP

A woman weeps in her car after crossing the border from Ukraine at the Romanian-Ukrainian border, in Sighetu Marmatiei, Romania.

The world watched in disbelief and horror as Russia invaded neighbouring Ukraine showcasing its full military might. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's statement that they are defending their country 'alone' speaks about the situation itself. Despite the West assuring Ukraine for months in the run upto the war, none of the countries have actually come to Kyiv's rescue.  

As the crisis spreads, it is not just the European countries that are expecting the shockwaves but also several Middle Eastern countries. Here is how the 'calamity' can affect the Gulf countries that depend on either Russia or Ukraine for several things.

Saudi Arabia

The most prominent country of the Arabian Peninsula, Saudi Arabia has decided to back Russia in the ongoing crisis. The relationship between Russia and Saudi has blossomed since 2015, after Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman met Putin for the first time. 

Saudi may see a friend in Russia as it currently has a strained relationship with the United States of America. The US President Joe Biden had earlier refused to meet the Crown Prince due to his accountability in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

India Tv - A Ukrainian Army soldier inspects fragments of a downed aircraft in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Image Source : AP

A Ukrainian Army soldier inspects fragments of a downed aircraft in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Israel

On one hand, Israel signed the Free Trade Agreement with Ukraine in 2019 strengthening the ties between the two nations. On the other hand, Israel and Russia have joint interests in Syria. For sometime now, Russian troops have been turning a blind eye to Israel trying to destroy Iranian proxy bases in Syria. 

Uptil now Israel has been playing safe and sitting on the fence as it will loose a lot if it takes sides on the issue. But it will have to change its stance once US starts pressurizing it to choose a side. 

India Tv - A demonstrator burns her Russian passport during a pro-Ukraine protest outside the Russian Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Image Source : AP

A demonstrator burns her Russian passport during a pro-Ukraine protest outside the Russian Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Syria

The Syrian government has said that it supports Russian President Vladimir Putin's decision to recognise two Moscow-backed separatist-held regions held regions in eastern Ukraine as independent. The self proclaimed rebel republics of Donetsk and Luhansk are situated in eastern Ukraine and escaped Kyiv’s control in 2014. 

Faisal Mekdad, Foreign Minister of Syria was quoted saying that the government of President Bashar al-Assad 'will cooperate' with the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Luhansk People’s Republic. Other than this, Russia also holds a naval port and an air base in Tartus, the second largest port city in Syria. Thus, it seems Moscow has a clear ally in Syria.  

India Tv - People gather in the Kyiv subway, using it as a bomb shelter in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Image Source : AP

People gather in the Kyiv subway, using it as a bomb shelter in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Turkey

Turkish President, Tayyip Erdogan urged his Russian counterpart to take the diplomatic route and hold dialogue with Ukraine rather than sending military troops to two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine. 

Turkey is finding itself in a tough position as it cannot afford to turn Russia against itself on one hand, while on the other it has to show support for Ukraine and other NATO countries. Thus, forcing it to walk on a tight rope. 

India Tv - Firefighters inspect the damage at a building following a rocket attack on the city of Kyiv, Ukraine  

Image Source : AP

Firefighters inspect the damage at a building following a rocket attack on the city of Kyiv, Ukraine

 

What is the conflict between Russia and Ukraine?

Ukraine became an independent nation with the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. It was earlier part of the Russian empire and later became the Soviet Republic and did away with its Russian imperial legacy, thereby forming close ties with the West. 

Since its independence, the country is battling corruption and internal divisions. The country's western side wants integration with the West while the eastern region with Russia. 

India Tv - A man lifts a child after she crossed the border from Ukraine at the Romanian-Ukrainian border, in Siret, Romania.

Image Source : AP

A man lifts a child after she crossed the border from Ukraine at the Romanian-Ukrainian border, in Siret, Romania.

The conflict started when Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych rejected an association agreement with the European Union in favour of closer ties with Moscow. The protestors ousted him in what is known as the Revolution of Dignity. In return, Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and backed east Ukraine's separatist rebellion. 

Soon after this, it attacked Donbas, the country's industrial heartland. Over 14,000 people lost their lives in the armed conflict between the Ukrainian forces and Russia-backed separatists. 

India Tv - A woman weeps in her car after crossing the border from Ukraine at the Romanian-Ukrainian border, in Sighetu Marmatiei, Romania.

Image Source : AP

A woman weeps in her car after crossing the border from Ukraine at the Romanian-Ukrainian border, in Sighetu Marmatiei, Romania.

Ukraine and the West accused Russia of deploying troops and sending weapons to the rebellions, an allegation that Russia denied. However, Russia strongly criticised the US and NATO for aiding Ukraine with weapons and joint military drills. President Putin too expressed concerns over plans by some NATO members to establish military training centres in Ukraine as it will facilitate military foothold in the region even without Ukraine joining NATO.

(With agency inputs)

Also Read | Russia-Ukraine war: What India needs to note from West’s reaction with respect to Pakistan and China

Also Read | Russia attacks Ukraine; peace in Europe ‘shattered’