Did you ever notice that the Kremlin expects the West to treat all those it designates as terrorists (for instance, the Chechen rebels) as such, even as it rejects and refuses to respect the West's designations? Russia, for instance, couldn't care less if the whole world thinks Hamas is terrorist, it goes its own way. AFP reports:
Russia will continue to maintain ties with Islamist group Hamas to foster Palestinian peace despite its designation in the West as a terrorist organisation, Russia's foreign minister said Wednesday. Speaking after talks with Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Kurbi in Moscow, Sergei Lavrov said relations with both Hamas and its more moderate rival Fatah were essential to push the Middle East peace process forward "Russia has very good relations with Fatah, and its leader Mahmud Abbas as the overall Palestinian leader," Lavrov said.
"Russia has relations with Hamas and we use these, and we will actively use these, to help move towards the Yemeni initiative" to foster Palestinian peace, he said. "It is impossible to resolve all of the problems without the unification of the Palestinians as a single people and as a single political-legal space," he said. He said those taking part in the peace process should not try to "drive a wedge" between the two groups.
Fatah and Hamas penned a deal in Yemen last month to open their first direct talks since Hamas drove Fatah forces from the Gaza Strip in June. However, the two factions started bickering about the meaning of the agreement within hours of signing it. Russia has carved out a unique position in Middle East diplomacy by maintaining contacts with both Fatah and Hamas, which is considered a terrorist group by the European Union, the United States and Israel.