The line of Russia in the context of Syria situation, particularly, the intention to block another resolution of the UN Security Council is defined by its interests, which go much further then Syria itself. One of them is for the “rules of game” to be observed in world policy. Russia needs to show that it is not some “countryside dumb” which can be constantly cheated. We have already got hurt in the situation with Libya, having considered that, the UN resolution shall be accomplished, and eventually happened intervention, overthrow of Gaddafi and his lynching. Within Syria conflict Russia as well as China consider unacceptable to repeat of the kind of situation. Here first of all is the issue of principle as the interests of Russia in Syria are not that great. If we lose the unit of ships entrance in Tartus, then our ships shall enter Haifa. If we are deprived of armament export to Syria, we’ll have one in Africa or Latin America, or some other states. Briefly, nothing fatal would happen and the volume of trade with Syria is not that big. But the issue whether you are in the list of great powers: if yes, then your interests and views are considered.
Within the situation in Arab world revolutionary events are unacceptable for Russia, and it completely doesn’t matter whether after Syria and Iran Russian political system shall be challenged or our west colleagues have just gone mad, and Arab monarchs started some inner suicide (it’s unclear why having overthrown temporal dictatorships, Khalif ones shouldn’t be – which are much more severe and aggressive). Russia wants for these processes to develop evolutionally rather then revolutionary in Near East (and not only there).
With this Russia in reality supports Bashar Asad who evidently won’t be able to hold his ground. And in this sense Russia is right. As if you change partners as gloves then who will desire such a partner? The tactics of girls of Leningrad avenue is not always right one for interstate relations.
Americans, having betrayed Mubarak, Gaddafi and Ben Ali, signed themselves death sentence on any agreements with the United States. That is why the following saying is widely popular in Arab world: “it’s dangerous to be the enemy of America, but it’s twice dangerous to be its friend”.
Yevgeni Satanovski – President of Near East States Institute
Translated by EuroDialogueXXI from politcom.ru