RUSSIA TO MISS SHARM-EL-SHEIKH

According to Russian foreign minister Igor Ivanov’s latest statement, Russia’s leadership has never received a formal invitation to the Middle East summit in Egypt, NTV reports. This statement looks like an acknowledgement of the defeat of Russia’s diplomacy in the Middle East and a sort of excuse for its helplessness. Now it has become clear that the signals coming from the Kremlin of president Putin’s readiness to join the summit in the Egyptian resort Sharm-el-Sheikh were the last minute attempt to catch the runaway train of the Middle East peace process. It did not come off and now the Kremlin emits refutations. The apparatchiks try to make the appearance that Putin is more interested in talks with Ukraine’s president Kuchma over gas supplies and holiday making with his Belarussian colleague Lukashenko than in the central role in the world politics. Yet, the above peace process will hardly proceed without Russia. So, we shall wait and see.