U.S., Russia differing over Syria but this is not Cold War - Council head
Russia does not seek to influence the Middle East and there are no grounds to speak about a Cold War with the United States either, Chairman of the Council on the Foreign and Defense Policy Fyodor Lukyanov said.
"True, the positions [of Russia and the United States] are absolutely opposite to one another. It is simply impossible to make the gap even larger and there is no chance to reconcile [them] either. They are different at the conceptual level. But there cannot be a Cold War now. During the Cold War period, the opposing sides, the Soviet Union and the United States, had the same goal: they were fighting for influence," Lukyanov told Interfax on Thursday.
In contrast to the United States, Russia does not try to gain influence over the Middle East, he said. "Many people in America are trying to present Russia as fighting against America for dominance over the Middle East. This is absolutely wrong. Russia does not intend to force America out of that region; it simply wants to minimize the risks created by American conduct," Lukyanov said.
Speaking about the Russian decision to send the Moskva missile carrying cruiser of the Black Sea Fleet to the eastern Mediterranean, the Council head said it was a demonstration of Moscow's concern about the events unfolding in the Middle East.
"In my opinion, this is just a demonstration of Russia's concern about local events. It will be monitoring [the events] closely and making conclusions about the possible appearance of threats to its security. As Sergei Lavrov has put it, and I think this is a unanimous position, Russia will not involve itself in military operations or confrontations on either side," Lukyanov said.