Syria: In Search Of Dialogue

By Tatyana Stanovaya

Russia is not yet possible to build effective contact with the participants of the antiterrorist coalition, warring against the IG. As we learned from the interview of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Vladimir Solovyov, he intended to send to the talks in Washington, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. However, the US refused to accept the Russian delegation. In "Novaya Gazeta", meanwhile, published an article which said, citing unnamed military that Russia may soon collapse a military operation in Syria. At the same time, the Russian General Staff official said that Syria will establish a military base, which will include sea, air and land components - Damascus has responded positively to this initiative.

 

Vladimir Putin is trying to step up communication with Turkey, Western Europe and the United States on Syria. He is appealing to potential partners to join forces. One of the arguments in the appeal to Turkey took place was the October 10 terrorist attack in Ankara that has cost the lives of over a hundred people. Putin expressed his solidarity with the Turkish people and the Turkish authorities, in condemning the crime. "Effectively, we will only in the fight against this evil, when together we will deal with it", - Putin said.

 

Now Turkey is in political crisis: preparing for early parliamentary elections in which the party of Erdogan have all the risks to worsen the results. The vote is scheduled for November 1, the Russian is waiting for how events will unfold is not pedaling at odds with Ankara. However, the situation is extremely complicated. The Kremlin is forced to somehow contribute to Kurds in northern Syria, the Kurds are considered the most organized resistance to the spread of LIH. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov declared that Russia is helping the Kurds in agreement with Baghdad. Erdogan considers to be a major risk factor for this and warns not only Russia, but also from the United States to promote the Kurds. In the meantime, efforts and Turkish, and Russian sides focused on the avoidance of sliding to confrontation. Moscow, October 15 visited the Deputy Foreign Minister of Turkey, Ali Kemal Aydin, who met with their Russian counterparts and discussed the Syrian issue. The Turkish diplomat said that Russia and Turkey are "making every effort to protect the bilateral relations of the regional conflicts."

 

The Kremlin believes that the actions of Turkey on the Syrian track conditions deteriorate to combat LIH. However, Turkey believes that Russia's actions undermine the foundations of national security. The situation seems very tense, with the potential for serious degradation that both sides are trying to slow down is due to its features. Another problem is the downed Oct. 16 Turkish air defense drone that Turkey unofficially considered a secret Russian spacecraft. Russia also denies the fact of the loss of the drone.

 

In relations with other countries-members of the coalition, Putin is trying in every way to emphasize the openness of Russia, as well as the legitimacy of its actions (Russian officials have consistently repeated that Russia is cracking down on the country's territory at the request of the Government of Syria). In an interview with Solovyov, he said that Moscow offers participating countries to join the coalition mandate Russia. However, until such a proposal is as provocative: in fact in this case, all the countries fighting the LIH, would have to get this out of the hands of the legitimacy of not only Russia, but Bashar al-Assad, seen as a source of destabilization in the region. Shifts the focus on the legitimacy of Russia comes when it is impossible to political dialogue. And for this to be inevitable and confrontational rhetoric: charges of illegal actions, violation of international law, that looks more like an attempt to have pressure on the West and the threat of support to strengthen the Assad regime.

 

In this situation, the minimum goal is to avoid dangerous incidents when uncontrolled collision of Russian military forces and military forces of the coalition could lead to clashes and casualties. Putin acknowledged that there is a certain progress, "to create a prototype of the working groups and with the Israelis and the Americans are now being created, and with Turkish partners, too, we are on the way." Putin added that "at the first stage at least it - it's better than nothing."

 

Indeed, 14 October Reuters quoted an unnamed US official said the United States and Russia are in the final stage of approval of the document on the rules of safety in the skies of Syria. These rules are consistent within videoconferencing military experts of the two countries and are aimed at maintaining a safe distance between the American and Russian aviation and the use of common frequencies for signals of distress. Pentagon strongly irritate podlety Russian aircraft to American fighters, and what is perceived as the strongest risk factor, and as a direct pressure, a show of force.

 

Politically, "carrot", which formally proposes Russia to the West, it is the fate of Assad, or how it is presented - the question of "political settlement". Foreign Ministry spokesman Maria Zakharova said that Russia does not support the Assad regime, and advocated the preservation of the Syrian state. But then she said that demand the resignation of Assad is to act in the logic of the terrorists. But Moscow continues to keep some, albeit very illusory distance from the leader of Syria. "Our objective is to stabilize the legitimate authority and create conditions for a political compromise", - Putin said. Here lies one of the most profound differences: the West considers a dangerous strengthening of the position of Assad, while Russia - required to find a compromise. At the same time, Putin categorically rejected the possibility of a ground operation in Syria Russia. It is worth noting that the whole rhetoric of the Russian authorities after the beginning of military operations has become more proasadovskoy that may be due to disappointment at the position of the West and its unwillingness to engage with Russia in the contact of joint antiterrorist operation.

 

The United States in this situation also hold a line at avoiding mutual military incidents, otherwise refusing to cooperate with Russia, including its strategy of "false" (this October 15 said the Pentagon chief Ashton Carter). As it turned out, Putin was going to send to Washington, the Russian delegation headed by Dmitry Medvedev, but the US refused to accept. A spokesman for the White House Josh Ernest explained this decision by Moscow's unwillingness to contribute to the fight against "Islamic state." Ernest said that Russia has its own agenda in Syria, which it carries out on their own. However, at the forum "Russia Calling", Vladimir Putin said that Russia asked the United States to provide information on what goals do not have to beat, but this was not done.

 

To convince the world of its peaceful intentions Russia is not easy. Perhaps it is this problem could be one reason for the political advancement of Dmitry Medvedev - a figure, which is connected with the "reset" in relations with the United States for 2009-2011. In this context, it becomes clearer and more joint campaign in the gym at the end of August, and the awarding of the Order "For Services to the Fatherland, I degree" in mid-October (though, for example, Sergei Shoigu was awarded the Order of St. Andrew, a prestigious award). Medvedev and Putin was ready to trust and Syrian missions. Inflation Medvedev political resource, however, does not yet have the desired effect. Weak prime with the technical government, Medvedev continues to face an acute shortage of political authority in the Russian elite and the West. For Barack Obama Medvedev - is not only a dependent political figure, but also a sad reminder of the end of the "reset" and the unsuccessful attempt of the political stakes in the interaction with him as a reformist alternative to Putin.

 

"Novaya Gazeta", citing its own sources wrote that addresses the issue of decommissioning operations, but at the moment this scenario seems unlikely. Without support from the Russian government the position of Syrian troops could quickly weaken, that the situation will return to the state before the Russian intervention and devalue the results that the Russian air force has achieved. Therefore, such a withdrawal could be a major blow not only for Assad, and Putin - is not accidental, Russia announced the establishment of a military base in the Syrian territory, which is contrary to the scenario of care. It is possible that the information "Novaya Gazeta" - leaked from the part of the Russian leadership, which was considered too high-risk Syrian operation, but now the issue of the military operation leading role played by the security forces.

 

At the same time, the Russian intervention changed the balance of power in Syria. Government troops launched an offensive in the three provinces - Latakia, Aleppo and Homs. At the same time the US continues to arm the opposition anti-American systems, he wrote "Kommersant", referring to the start of the risks between Russia and the US proxy war (proxy war). "This war is not mediated by conscious choice, but by coincidence. They are such that the rebels are a lot of anti-missile systems, and their mode of attack with the help of Russia ", - the expert said Jeff White of the Washington-based Institute for Near East Policy, was quoted by New York Times. Maria Zakharova, in turn, told "Kommersant" that "we tell them one thing: you are arming more moderate opposition will never be able to give assurances that the weapons along with these people will not be on the side of the terrorist organizations. There is no certainty that the MANPADS, which wrote the Western media do not fall into the hands of those whom they were intended, "- she said.

 

Russia could fall into the trap of Syria, with which it is possible to advance in solving military tasks, but to convert them into the diplomatic successes will not succeed. The more Russia is drawn into the Syrian conflict, the harder it becomes to get out of it, and the more increased dependence on Assad and his interests. As we move government troops confrontation Russia and the West on the fate of the Syrian opposition will increase, Moscow will have to actively defend the regime of the Syrian leader. In this case, even if we can freeze the situation in the east of Ukraine for a long time (to solve the Ukrainian crisis it is not yet possible), the question of lifting the sanctions update will not be easy, as the main problem of Russia is its unpredictability in terms of Western partners and profound difference in understanding international threats.

 

 

30.10.2015

 

 

 

 

 
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