Interview with Evgeny Bazhanov

Dr. Evgeny Bazhanov, a political analyst and Vice President of the Diplomatic Academy, spoke to Russia Today about clashes in Palestine and the role Russia ought to play in it.

Russia Today: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said that Iran encouraged Hamas to use violence to take control over the Gaza district. Could we talk first of all about this statement, about Iran? Hamas has denied Iran's involvement. What do you think the situation is?

Evgeny Bazhanov: Well of course Iran has close relations with Hamas and we know that Iran is very tough on Israel and the whole situation over there but probably Iran did not participated in this push of Hamas to such.

RT: In other words it is very strong force, is it not? It must have some sort of support somewhere?

E.B.: Well, of course it gets support. We are talking now about who encouraged them to do what they did but yes, they have support from Iran and from some other sides. It is clear; I mean it is well known.

RT: What about this crisis? Is this really a sign of failure of diplomatic efforts from the EU and from the U.S.?

E.B.: Well, I think what failed there is the peace that failed. So everybody is guilty, all parties which are involved in the crisis and in the attempts to solve this situation in the Middle East we can say are guilty. But we know that the West was very tough with Hamas and I think it only aggravated the situation, made Hamas more aggressive and aggravated the general situation in Palestine. You know, because of the awful conditions there Hamas has support among people. Those unemployed, those who do not have food and things like that.

RT: There has been very positive and quick reaction from the U.S. and the EU in recognising the formula of the emergency government by Abbas. That is clearly a very positive stand.

E.B.: Well, I think it is. I mean we have to restore peace there and we have to support the legitimate government there.

RT: And what about the Russian involvement here? We have been reporting that Russians need to be evacuated from Gaza. What do you think the situation is and how should Russia now be playing the role in this, in intervening?

E.B.: First of all we have to help our citizens there. Then we have to help the citizens of Palestine, Palestinians who are in trouble there. And then we have to help to restore peace in Palestine.

RT: Is that likely with that split between the West Bank and Gaza?

E.B.: No. I think that what we have to do – we have to work with the international community on these issues. We should not compete with others who is number one there in trying to solve those issues. I think that we have to work with the UN, with the U.S., with the EU, with China and other interested powers. And if we work together there is a chance we can, you know.

RT: So there is a chance? You do not think that the situation has slipped beyond control.

E.B.: Well, you know, sooner or later we have to move to a more peaceful situation there. Of course it is a very difficult situation. Of course it is war, it is destruction, it is hatred there but only if we work together with the international community, with responsible Palestinians we can try to help.