The International Economic Forum, scheduled for June 2-5, 2021 in St. Petersburg, contributes to the strengthening of relations between Russia and Palestine. Moscow would like to use the event to discuss joint projects with Palestinian colleagues and open a new page in the interaction of the two countries.
The current state of the Palestinian question allows us to make an unambiguous conclusion that Ramallah is on the verge of a fateful systemic change in the principles of cooperation. The organization of an inter-Arab dialogue and the foreign policy of Iran and Turkey allow Palestine to remain on the periphery of international attention. However, the reaction of most of the countries of the Arab world to the so-called “Deal of the Century” and the process of “Israelization” that has swept the Middle East serve as a certain signal for many countries that the Palestinian dossier is rapidly losing the interest of many regional players. This state of affairs is explained, first of all, by the protracted internal political crisis, the conflict between Hamas and Fatah, as well as the low economic attractiveness of Palestine for international investors. In this regard, the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum may become a unique opportunity for Ramallah to enlist the support of big business, establish a dialogue with international partners and use Russian levers of influence on long-standing regional conflicts.
It is worth noting that the strengthening of Russian-Palestinian relations over the past 10 years has been due to Moscow’s particularly prominent foreign policy in the Middle East. Now Russia has a great interest in resolving Palestinian-Israeli conflicts and restoring the Palestinian economy, which has suffered not only from international sanctions, but also due to the global spread of COVID-19. The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, to which Palestinian politicians and businessmen are invited, once again testifies that Moscow is ready to play a decisive role in resolving Palestinian problems and aims to restore the positions of Ramallah that were lost as a result of the “Deal of the Century”. At the same time, ensuring the economic independence of the Palestinians is a key point in this area of cooperation between the two countries.
The decision to participate in the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum may be an attempt to resolve the long-standing crisis between Fatah and Hamas and serve as a guarantee that the Palestinian people will forget about their political differences in order to achieve the sole goal of economic prosperity of their state.
Moscow is quite active in influencing the political and economic processes in Palestine and is especially actively helping to overcome the Palestinian crisis. The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum can become a negotiating platform for Fatah, Hamas and their foreign partners.
According to experts, the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum not only strengthens Russia’s mediation efforts to overcome the existing problems in Palestine, but can also serve as a basis for mobilizing Palestinian economic factions, turning them into a powerful instrument of international influence. In addition, given that Russia is ready for dialogue with all representatives of Palestine, it will be difficult enough to accuse Moscow of being biased or intending to express its sympathies to any one Palestinian group. In addition to Russia’s real support for the Palestinian dossier, the Kremlin, at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, offers the prospect of significant economic investment. In particular, Moscow is ready to develop cooperation with Ramallah in the field of agriculture, as well as on projects for the construction of industrial facilities in Bethlehem, Jerekhon, Hebron and other Palestinian cities, which is a very tempting prospect, given that Palestine is now in dire need of economic assistance.