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Putin and Netanyahu - the new axis in the Middle East (Berlusconi)?

Putin and Netanyahu - the new axis in the Middle East (Berlusconi)?

Tags: Opinion, Israel, Russia, the Middle East, Gas, International relations, Putin, Netanyahu, Syria, United States

I offer you an interesting article, read today in an Italian journalist blog "Il Giornale "Giampaolo Rossi. Translation mine, so if clumsy, do not blame me.

More than two weeks ago, Vladimir Putin has called the Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, asking him to Russian investments in the development of one of the most important energy resources Tel Aviv: Israel's offshore natural gas field Leviathan.

Russia ready to invest in this operation from the 7 10 to the billions of dollars that will be spent on the protection of deposits and construction of the offshore gas pipeline to Turkey, which would allow Israel to export gas to Europe. The news circulated close to the Israeli intelligence website Debka.

What is the Leviathan?

Leviathan is an Israeli offshore natural gas field, opened in 2010 by Noble Energy and is the second largest in the Mediterranean (after the Eni discovery of the Egyptian offshore Zohr field this year) and, according to preliminary estimates, exceeds 700 billion of cubic meters of gas Moreover, the research analyzes also showed the presence of oil (about 600 million barrels). The deposit is a turning point for Israel, which is traditionally an energy-dependent country. In combination with the nearby Tamar deposit, the Israelis are not only energy-self-sufficient, but also able to become gas exporters, thereby changing many geopolitical layouts, primarily with neighboring Turkey.

But the main problem is that the beginning of the development of this field is scheduled for 2017 year until today not completely clear plan for the development of this energy heritage.

Why is Russia itself?

Leviathan is located near the territorial waters of Libya (which in the past has given rise to many disputes between the two countries), in an area easily accessible to the anti-Israeli sabotage, and even most of these rocket attacks from the historical enemies of Israel, the pro-Iranian Hezbollah.

The arguments of Moscow is very simple: make billions in investment projects of Russian and "neither Syria nor Hezbollah dare to touch him, though in reality it belongs to Israel." This is a fundamental guarantee that none of the Western countries so far failed to give to Israel.

The role of Berlusconi

According to Israeli sources, the past 30 August Netanyahu spoke about the Russian proposal with Matteo Renzi (Premier of Italy) during his visit to Florence and at the same time the Israeli Prime Minister expressed his desire to involve Silvio Berlusconi in the negotiation process, given his close relationship with Putin. On the other, Berlusconi (to whom Netanyahu is very attached) is considered one of the best European friends of Israel, that is, it is a guarantee for both parties involved (a year ago we published an article "Diplomacy of the Cavalier", explaining what you are not told in Italy).

The Russian proposal is very tempting, but the real concern may cause the American reaction to the agreement of Israel, both in obvious later geopolitical reasons, and because the Texas Noble Energy, in addition, that opened the field is its major shareholder (with 39% shares majoritarian role stavneniju Israeli Delek Drilling).

Why Israel could accept?

At present time there are clear international geopolitical changes that might push Israel to accept the Russian proposal:

1. US-Iranian nuclear agreement lowered the US-Israeli relationship to its lowest historical level.

2. On the basis of this agreement, Israel feels an even greater threat to its security.

3. Russia is the main ally of Tehran, and therefore the best mediator in the settlement of possible tensions.

4. Trust in Washington, and its weight in the Middle East have fallen as a result of the terrible mistakes made by the US administration over the last years (from the Arab Spring to the turn of Egypt, from the devastating war in Libya to diletansky control of the Syrian crisis). It will be years before the United States will be able to restore the role, which was previously in their region. In addition, the Iranian nuclear treaty is bisected by US public opinion, making the apparent internal differences on Middle East policy.

5. Entering the Russian armed forces in Syria (side by side with the Iranian elite forces) makes it clear to Israel about the next failure of Washington. Assad will not give up so easily, and therefore will have to be considered and a new scenario in which, paradoxically, Assad is the lesser evil.

6. The Russian presence in Syria "strongly inhibits flexibility of Israel to launch a military operation against Iran and Hezbollah," and it encourages Israel realism to realize that Moscow would be the final time the strongest foreign military force in the Eastern Mediterranean.

7. The critical situation in the Mediterranean region makes it difficult to find foreign developers (except Russian) ready to invest in the Israeli gas.


The Russian proposal should be seen as an attempt to declare himself the central figure in the balance of power in the new Middle East is no longer exposed to American hegemony. From traditional alliances (Iran and Syria), to new interlocutors in the face of the Saudi monarchy (disappointed in the behavior of Washington and Tehran) and up to the military and economic defense of Israel - realism Putin is moving in all directions with a clear strategic vision, taking advantage of the US decline in the region.

Moscow is reviewing its presence in the Middle East, restoring the role of the Arab world, which had in the Soviet era.

Who knows, maybe that's the "bad Russian" and stabilize the tinderbox of the Earth after years of disastrous American wars.

Marina Kessada
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