Why Russia Doesn't Hold the Keys to Syria
The American Interest
by David Kramer and Lilia Shevtsova
It is difficult to decipher whether those who argue that Russia holds the keys to the solution of the Syrian crisis really believe it or are using Russia as an excuse to do nothing. The recent Syrian Action Group meeting in Geneva clearly showed that the Kremlin is not moving closer to the position of the U.S. and other powers. Tremendous time and energy have been wasted in trying to lure Russia closer to the view that Assad needs to go. Over and over again, Russian officials have made clear that they are not interested in helping find a real, as opposed to imitation, solution to the Syria problem. In a July 9 meeting with Russia’s diplomatic corps, Vladimir Putin reconfirmed that he has not changed his position on Syria, reiterating his familiar mantra on the “political solution” and “dialogue” which barely masks his support for Bashir al-Assad. Continued Russian arms sales to the murderous Assad regime should be crystal clear evidence of which side Moscow favors in the conflict.
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