Russia's Medvedev: Attack on Iran Will Endanger Entire World

Russian president says Moscow values its presence in Mideast, but will not revive Soviet policies.

MOSCOW AND SOCHI - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Friday, "We know that certain players are planning an attack against Iran. But we oppose any unilateral step and military solution to the nuclear crisis," he added.

Speaking at the Valdai Discussion Club, an annual forum of opinion-makers in Moscow, Medvedev also said, "The world does not need to tighten its sanctions on Iran at this time."

The discussions at Valdai dealt with Russia's international role. In response to a question from Haaretz as to whether the Middle East conference Russia is planning to host in the fall shows involvement similar to that once displayed by the Soviet Union, Medvedev said that Russia is not the heir to the Soviet Union.

"Russia has a completely different value system," he said. "When it proposes a mediation service, its sole intention is to assist in bringing about a peace that both Jews and Arabs will enjoy."

A day before the discussion with Medvedev, the forum's members met with Russia's former president and incumbent prime minister, Vladimir Putin.

Putin said he considers Russia's presence in the Middle East important and that his country intended to use Syrian ports "as it did in the past, but not for defined purposes."

The president's adviser, Oleg Tsatsurin, told Haaretz: "Russia would not take any action that would change the balance of power in the Middle East or harm the excellent relations between Russia and Israel."