Ukraine’s ambassador to Tehran has attacked the Iranian government over its stance on the Russian invasion and challenged it to send oil to Ukraine.
“My analysis is that Russia has failed, both tactically and operationally, and also strategically,” Serhii Burdyliak told Asia newspaper in an interview published Saturday. The ambassador claimed all European countries were supporting Ukraine because should it fail, no European country would be safe from Russian invasion.
Burdyliak argued that current sanctions by the United States and the European Union counties would be tightened. He claimed Germany had announced it was ready to cut off oil, gas, and coal imports from Russia – whereas in fact Germany, while saying it was ready to consider an oil embargo, is still importing gas.
The ambassador also claimed, “the majority of Iranian people support Ukraine,” while the government was “standing by Russia now.” Burdyliak argued that the prospect of cutting off Russian energy exports to Europe would bring the US and western Europe closer to reviving the 2015 nuclear deal, presumably to gain access to Iranian oil or gas.
Burdyliak warned Iran to think of its longer-term interests. “If for example, we assume that next year there will be problems in relations with Russia, and if the Iranian government continues its position of not supporting Ukraine, and next year Iran wants to get food from Ukraine, Ukraine would ask, ‘Where have you been so far? Where were you a year ago when we needed your humanitarian aid?’”
Oil tankers at Qeshm island
Tehran has defended Ukrainian sovereignty while pointing out that the expansion of Nato to 13 eastern European countries since 1999 was seen as a security threat by Moscow. Along with Armenia, China, India, and Iraq, Iran abstained in the March vote at the United Nations General Assembly condemning Russian military intervention.
Burdyliak suggested Iran should send oil to Ukraine, presumably once the US lifted ‘maximum pressure’ sanctions currently threatening punitive action against anyone taking Iranian crude.
“I was on the [Iranian] island of Qeshm, and there I saw oil tankers waiting for customers,” he said. “I thought, what if you were sending some of these tankers through Poland and Romania to help Ukraine?”…In such a case, you would be proud to have helped a war-torn country”.
There has been a lively discussion in the Iranian media over the war in Ukraine, with most principlist and state media, including state broadcaster IRIB, blaming Nato’s role and accusing the US of abandoning Ukraine after allegedly encouraging them to defy Moscow.
Iran last year imported record amounts of wheat it is vulnerable like some populous Middle Eastern countries to rising commodity prices. Egypt takes over 70 percent of its wheat from Russian and Ukraine.
Middle Eastern countries, including Israel, have also worked to maintain links with Moscow. Oil producers led by Saudi Arabia, which has a good relationship with Russia, have refused US requests to increase crude exports