Russia has in turn crossed the red line drawn by Morocco, by not recognising the sovereignty of the Cherifian Kingdom over Western Sahara, as the spokesperson of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, has made known.
Will Morocco open another front with a European country in connection with the Western Sahara issue? This is in any case a strong probability, given the new developments. Indeed, the question was raised yesterday, Thursday, during the press briefing of the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, who ruled out any recognition of the Moroccanity of Western Sahara by Russia.
« We have already commented on this decision of the US administration. We are talking about the statement of the Russian Foreign Ministry, dated 12 December 2020. We considered the decision of the US administration as undermining the generally recognised international legal framework for the settlement of the Western Sahara issue, which provides for the determination of the final status of this territory through a referendum under the auspices of the UN. I can only reaffirm this approach. It is relevant, » she said.
And the spokeswoman added that « the official position » of her country « on this long-standing problem remains unchanged (…) We also believe that the resumption of direct negotiations between Morocco and the Polisario Front with the mediation of the UN would help to unblock the peace process. Furthermore, a new personal envoy of the UN Secretary General for Western Sahara should finally be appointed. It is necessary to complete this process, by appointing a specialist to this position.
The coming months will be decisive for Morocco, especially since in October the Security Council will have to adopt a new resolution to extend the mandate of MINURSO for additional months. A period during which several international actors could leave the « grey zone ». For the time being, it is Russia that has just crossed a red line established by the Kingdom, regarding the Western Sahara issue.