Russian Policy in the Levant

ULUSLARARASI İLİŞKİLER, VOLUME 15, NUMBER 60, 2018 

Irina ZVYAGELSKAYA*

ABSTRACT

This article examines the policies of the Russian Federation in the Levant region against the backdrop of dramatic global, regional and domestic changes. Russia’s strategy is analyzed through the prism of the Syrian and the Palestinian- Israeli conflicts. The Syrian conflict marks Moscow’s new activist policy in the region. On the one hand, it has provided for the astonishing diversification of its relations with the various Middle East actors, Turkey, Iran, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Hamas, to name just a few. On the other hand, Moscow, striving for a new world order, has been faced with the fact that despite its cooperation with the US in Syria the two countries’ approach to solving international problems are so distinct that even a fight against terrorism could not mend their relationship. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict has always been perceived in Russia as the key factor in explaining the instability in the region. Russia’s participation in the international structures dealing with the conflict resolution has been motivated primarily by a search for peace in the area. Instrumentally, Russia has always sought to keep open at least some channels of cooperation with the West, as these serve as a crucial means for decreasing international tensions.

Keywords: Russia, Terrorism, Regime Change, De-escalation Zones, De-confliction

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* Chief Research Associate, Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences; Professor, Moscow State Institute of International Relations under the Russian Foreign Ministry and Institute of African and Asian Studies, Moscow State University, Moscow.

 


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