Oil-producing giants Russia and Saudi Arabia met in Moscow Wednesday to discuss the oil market situation amid the ongoing violence and geopolitical uncertainty between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas.
The Kremlin warned Wednesday that the Israel-Hamas conflict has the hallmarks of a “hot war” right now and could potentially be “very dangerous,” especially on a humanitarian level.
“The situation is alarming, it is potentially very dangerous, dangerous with consequences, [including] of a humanitarian nature,” Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov told reporters Wednesday, news agency TASS reported.
As Peskov noted, “after it is possible to bring [the conflict] out of the hot war phase, the period of searching for ways of a peaceful settlement will already begin,” he said.
“It is too early to talk about [Russia’s] role in the actual settlement, because the conflict is at the stage of a hot war,” he said.
Russia’s reaction to the outbreak of violence in Israel and Gaza is being closely watched, given that it occupies a strange and somewhat unique position in Middle Eastern geopolitics, being allies with both Israel and Iran, which traditionally backs Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that attacked Israel last weekend.
The group, designated a terrorist organization by the U.S., U.K. and EU, launched one of the deadliest attacks Saturday, prompting Israel to declare a state of war against the group. Israel has since launched relentless airstrikes on Gaza and its troops are massing at the border.
Peskov appeared to criticize both Hamas and Israel, saying “we need to stop terrorist attacks. We need to stop the disproportionate use of force. We need to ensure the minimum needs of the population in Gaza,” the Kremlin spokesman said.
“The fact is that now this area is completely closed … [There is] a shortage of medicines, a shortage of beds in hospitals, a shortage of hospitals themselves. Which is now leading to very serious humanitarian problems.”
Russia’s concerns for the humanitarian situation in Israel come 19 months into its own invasion of its neighbor Ukraine, a conflict which has thousands of soldiers and civilians die and millions of people displaced. Russia says it does not target civilians despite numerous instances of civilian infrastructure being targeted and destroyed.