Russia’s return to the Middle East
The Russians hope that they could speak on equal terms with the US and act as a super-state
Read the original text at nv.ua.
In 1990s, Russia has lost the Middle East race, and was "expelled" from the region. But today the situation in the Middle East is developing very dynamically. The Russian leadership considers its Mideast activities as returning to the struggle for influence.
Russia is trying to create a new platform for cooperation with Turkey, to expand cooperation with Iran, and to institutionalize “Moscow - Tehran – Baghdad” military alliance, which was formed against the backdrop of the war in Syria.
I do not think they would have enough resources to fully come back to the region and create the military bases. Probably, Russia is consistently demonstrating its willingness to escalate the situation. Apparently, it adds some adrenaline to the Russian leadership.
To a certain extent, restoring of the Mideast policy, probably, was a great surprise even for the Russian leadership. Over the past five years, this area of foreign policy has evolved from a marginal field to the most important one. Russians hope that thanks to Middle East issues, they will be able to speak on equal terms with the US and act as a super-state. Against the background of the US fatigue Russia is trying to renew its influence in the Mideast.
Meanwhile, the West is not united. Western democracies have been always inconsistent in terms of the Mideast issues. After France and Britain left that region, the right of domination went to the US and the Soviet Union.
The last American breakthrough in the Middle East occurred in the early 2000s, during the Iraq war. During that period, American role was very active there, and the great expectations were placed on the US. The world pinned hopes on America, which should change the political environment, social order, and build democracy. But today, everyone seems to be tired of the Middle East. This region is not as important as it used to be some 10-20 years ago.
All these factors lessen the economic viability of the Middle East to the United States. Accordingly, the desire of the US to interfere is reduced. Against the background of US fatigue Russia is trying to renew its influence in the region.
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