Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, stated that the Palestinian Authority will soon receive 50 Russian armored vehicles that were donated by Russia several years ago but Israel opposed the delivery. Visiting Ramallah, Lavrov said that the armored vehicles are currently in Jordan and that he hopes they will be transferred to the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank in the coming days.
The Russian official visited Egypt and Spain and held talks with leaders of the Quartet Committee for Middle East Peace. The Quartet Committee has representatives from Russia, the United States, the European Union and the United Nations.
The vehicles were offered by Russia in 2005 and are reportedly meant to help the P.A. maintain order.
But Israel strongly objected to the deal and said that they could fall in the hands of the Hamas movement, but later on authorized the transfer.
Referring to the Middle East peace process with Israel, Lavrov said that Russia supports all efforts that would transform proximity talks into direct negotiations, and added that Palestinian unity is essential to the success of peace talks.
He also said that Russia wants the siege on Gaza lifted, and that his country heard statements made by Israeli government officials regarding easing the siege, and is now awaiting actual implementation of such statements.
As for the Iranian issue, Lavrov urged the United States to hold talks with Iran in order to avoid the military option.
He will be holding talks with U.S. Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, in Geneva this coming Friday. The meeting is considered the first high ranking meeting between officials of Russia and the United States since Barak Obama was elected president.
Russia is urging more diplomacy with Iran, while the United States and several European countries believe that the Iranian nuclear agenda is aimed at manufacturing weapons.