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Russia’s policy on the Syria crisis: sources and implications

Stepanova, Ekaterina (2012) Russia’s policy on the Syria crisis: sources and implications. International Affairs at LSE (12 Mar 2012). Website.

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It may be hard to believe it now, but just a year ago Russia found itself enjoying a rather positive and balanced standing in the Middle East. This image could be traced despite, or thanks to, Russia’s reduced involvement and limited interest in the Middle East for much of the post-Soviet period. It was contrasted with the policies of the key external actors, particularly the two flawed US-led interventions in, and ignominious retreat from, Iraq and Afghanistan, and the 2011 ouster of the US main Arab ally outside the Gulf – the Mubarak regime. Against this background, Russia’s relatively low profile and its post-Soviet lack of ideological pressure, combined with historical record of support to the Arab countries and its remaining influence in the UN, until recently tended to affect its image in the Middle East in a rather positive way. It may be precisely the lack of major strategic interest or leverage that allowed Russia the luxury of relative neutrality – between Iran and the Arab Gulf states, the Sunni and the Shia, secular forces (such as Fatah) and reformist Islamists (such as Hamas), and even, to an extent, between the Arab world and Israel.

Item Type: Online resource (Website)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2012 The Author(s)
Divisions: IGA: LSE IDEAS
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2017 13:43
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2023 18:46

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