On October 11, Russian President Vladimir Putin criticized the United States for what he perceived as an escalation of tensions in the Middle East due to the deployment of an aircraft carrier group to the region. He emphasized the need for “compromise solutions” and expressed hope for the prevalence of common sense.
Putin, addressing an energy conference in Moscow, deemed the recent outbreak of violence between Israel and the Palestinians a clear demonstration of the failure of U.S. policy in the Middle East. He argued that this policy had disregarded the Palestinian perspective and needs. In response to a surprise attack by Hamas militants on Israel, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced the movement of a carrier strike group, including the USS Gerald R. Ford, closer to Israel.
“I don’t understand why the U.S. is dragging aircraft carrier groups into the Mediterranean Sea. I don’t understand the point. Are they going to bomb Lebanon or what?” he said.
The Russian President asserted that this U.S. action, which Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan had also strongly criticized, was a mistake. Putin, currently involved in a standoff with Western nations over Ukraine, accused Washington of bypassing established processes for addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and attempting to handle the situation independently, without resolving its fundamental issues.