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The Russian invasion of Ukraine has provoked a transregional security crisis of varied dimensions with far-reaching global implications. The Ukraine Crisis has compelled the states in the Middle East to reassess and readjust their policies accordingly. This talk presents a comparative analysis of the responses of five influential Middle Eastern states, i.e., Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Turkey, to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. It is argued that all the five Middle Eastern states have opted for a balancing act between Russia and Ukraine, on the one hand, and between Russia and the West, on the other. It is further argued that this same policy outcome is the result of distinct combinations of different factors for each state.

This talk, first, discusses the policy responses of each Middle Eastern state to the crisis by investigating the challenges as well as opportunities the crisis has brought about for the respective state. Second, it puts forward a critical examination of the sources of Russian influence in the region, and how these influence sources have conditioned the policy options of Middle Eastern states vis-à-vis the Russian invasion. Third, it discusses the implications of Middle Eastern responses to the Ukraine crisis for a post-Western world.


Dr Eyüp Ersoy is a visiting research fellow in the Institute of Middle Eastern Studies at King’s College London. Dr Ersoy is also a visiting lecturer in the Department of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Birmingham. He holds a PhD from Bilkent University, was a research fellow at the Centre for Foreign Policy and Peace Research (CFPPR), and studied Arabic at the University of Damascus. His primary area of research is Middle Eastern geopolitics, focusing on the interplays of security, economy, and identity. His publications have appeared in peer-reviewed journals, such as, Turkish Studies, Middle East Policy, and Third World Quarterly. Dr. Ersoy is currently working on his book project on Turkey and the Middle East: The Quest for Influence before the Arab Spring.

Event details

River Room
Strand Building
Strand Campus, Strand, London, WC2R 2LS