The US move to recognize Western Sahara as part of Morocco could dramatically impede UN efforts to resolve the half-century-old conflict there, Russia said over the weekend.“By this decision, the Donald Trump administration aims to undermine the universally recognized international legal groundwork of the Western Sahara settlement, which stipulates the determination of the final status of that area through a referendum,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said. “This new position of the United States could dramatically impede UN efforts to promote the Settlement Plan for Western Sahara, [and could] exacerbate the relations between the directly involved parties and provoke a new spiral of armed confrontation in the Sahara-Sahel region,” it said.Moscow’s comments are in contrast to its own decision to annex Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, a move most countries do not recognize. Russia’s condemnation of the US is not surprising, since the countries are on opposite sides of most global issues.Turkey also seems to be positioning itself against the US decision, largely because Ankara does not want Morocco normalizing relations with Israel. The US decision on Western Sahara came as Morocco said it would normalize ties with Israel.Turkey immediately sent its government-run Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) to push stories about Western Sahara. It highlighted the “pro-independence Polisario Front, representing the local Sahrawi population, backed by Algeria.” Turkey says some countries recognize Western Sahara as independent.Polisario condemned in the strongest terms that Trump attributes to Morocco something that does not belong to the country, sovereignty over Western Sahara, TRT reported.Algeria also joined the chorus. “There is now a desire by the Zionist entity to come closer to our borders,” Prime Minister Abdelaziz Djerad said.Turkey illegally occupies Afrin in Syria, a Kurdish area that Turkish-backed extremists have destroyed and where kidnappings of women and minorities are now common. If Turkey supported international law, as it claims to do in Western Sahara, then it would withdraw from Afrin.Turkey and Russia may be maneuvering to be on the same page about the US decision. Turkey, Russia and Iran have opposed the US role in Syria and generally work together to oppose US policy.Ankara and Tehran are opposed to peace deals with Israel, but Moscow and Jerusalem have generally been able to work amicably in the region.