We don’t see Middle East like that – Lavrov on cartoon of Putin with knot of snakes

We don’t see Middle East like that – Lavrov on cartoon of Putin with knot of snakes Vladimir Putin hardly casts himself as a master of a snake pit, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said when asked about a cartoon showing the president standing in the Middle East with his hands full of vipers.

The cartoon by Kevin Kallaugher, who is better known under his pen name KAL, was printed last week by the Economist in response to recent developments in Syria. The US pulled back its troops from the Turkish-Syrian border and Russia stepped in, preventing a major Turkish attack on Syrian Kurdish militias.

Lavrov, who was asked if Russia was trapping itself as the cartoon suggested, said he doubted “that Putin sees himself in the role of a master in charge of a snake pit” and that Moscow doesn‘t perceive those it deals with in the Middle East as poisonous reptiles at all.

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“We don‘t picture our partners in the Middle East in that way. Everyone has his own truth there, and his own interest,” he explained during an to the Russian broadcaster Rossiya 24.

Sure, there are Eastern traditions, including that of furthering one’s interest by methods that are not completely open. But that’s life.

Russia used its military strength in Syria on a request from the government, helping it to prevent a full jihadist takeover of the country and allowing it to take back control of most of the territory. The US, which keeps troops in Syria without a mandate, continues to occupy territory on the Syrian-Jordan border as well as in northeastern Syria, where oil fields are located.

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