Lack of Strategy: Twenty years after the end of the Cold War, Russia has not developed a coherent foreign policy towards the Middle East, said Carnegie’s Marwan Muasher. Share. But Putin might have just played a sharp diplomatic move on Ankara, by isolating Erdoğan’s Turkey in all conflict areas including the Eastern Mediterranean, Libya, South Caucasus and Syria. Russia’s strategy in the Middle East is to stay closer to all other players in the region than they are to one another. Russia's Strategy in the Middle East Russia's Strategy in the Middle East . Interestingly, Moscow has also managed to drive a deep wedge between the UAE’s arch-foe Iran and Turkey. The research was conducted by the Center for Middle East Public Policy. The Pardee RAND Graduate School (PRGS.edu) is the largest public policy Ph.D. program in the nation and the only program based at an independent public policy research organization—the RAND Corporation. This widespread narrative originated, in particular, in the Syrian crisis and the Russian military intervention in the country. This website uses cookies. Lack of Strategy: Twenty years after the end of the Cold War, Russia has not developed a coherent foreign policy towards the Middle East, said Carnegie’s Marwan Muasher. October 5, 2020. Russia’s military intervention in Syria has the potential to shift the long-term geostrategic outlook for the Middle East. Russia’s Middle East Power Play By Vance Serchuk. Russian strategy in Syria and the Middle East is clearly marked by shaping regional security and politics thru time-tested means of forward deployed military forces on land and sea, economic and security assistance, and bi-lateral training exercises taking place in both regional states and Russia itself. Now, there is a reason why Moscow is bringing up issues like Syria and Libya. Firstly, Russian interests in these two conflict zones themselves militate directly against Turkish interference. Over the last few years, the myth of a Russian “return” to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has captured increasing attention from policy-makers all over the area and beyond, as well as the academic community. September 29, 2020. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors. September 8, 2020. Russia's strategy could limit US influence in Europe and Turkey, which perhaps explains the change in Washington's tone in Libya, and the effort to deploy troops in Tunisia. Russia’s strategy in the Middle East is to stay closer to all other players in the region than they are to one another. Approach to the World, How Law Enforcement Can Mitigate Bias in Machine Learning Decision Aids, Helping Mothers Return to Work Is a Gender Equality Issue, Who Gets Care When Hospitals Are Overwhelmed? India’s top investigative agency CBI begins probing Cambridge Analytica, Facebook set to be nailed, China may get aggressive on the Indian border again and is set to lose more heads this time, A fuming Netanyahu and an angry MBS – Why the USA will lose both Saudi and Israel together, Biden’s reversal of Trump’s Israel policy is a disaster in making and can turn Middle East into a searing inferno, Israelis are now racing sports cars in Saudi Arabia. 25 Oct 2018 | Connor Dilleen Much has been written about Russia’s ambitions in Syria and the Middle East, and there are numerous elements to Moscow’s strategy in the region. The greatest limitation of Russia's Middle East strategy is that it is not Russia, but the Middle Eastern states themselves that determine the depth of their relations with Moscow. Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience. Russia’s Waning Influence. But Russia had in fact been edging its way back into the region since at least 2007, emphasising political and economic relations over security relationships. Russia is intensifying its political and military involvement in Libya as part of a new Middle East strategy, which has several objectives. Funding for this venture was provided by philanthropic contributions from RAND supporters and income from operations. Russia's Strategy in the Middle East Russia's Strategy in the Middle East . The title of this seminar/workshop is “Russia’s Strategy in the Middle East.” And to me that suggest two things: one, that there is one, a strategy for the Middle East, and that, two, that other countries also have other strategies in the Middle East. When it comes to Russia or its President, Vladimir Putin, the world interprets Russian firepower as a sheer military muscle, or at best, manipulative cyber warfare. Russian-Turkish partnership in their common neighborhood looked a possibility. The involvement in Libya is an extension of the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) policy, as presented in a strategy paper on Russian foreign policy in the autumn of 2016. Russia’s Middle East Strategy Egypt: Increased Dealmaking Will Likely Harm the United States and Allies. Erdoğan’s Azeri separatist narrative, following the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia, has caused fissures in the Iran-Turkey relationship. Largely absent from the Middle East for the better part of the previous two decades, Russia intervened to save Bashar al-Assad’s regime and reasserted itself as a major player in the region’s power politics. The authors contend that while Russia may not have a clear ends-driven regional strategy, its actions suggest it is applying a generalized, functional strategy: It constantly seeks to improve its short-term economic, military, and political advantages while reducing the short-term advantages of prospective adversaries. RAND is nonprofit, nonpartisan, and committed to the public interest. Russia’s 2015 intervention in Syria, which caught many by surprise, seemingly heralded Moscow’s triumphant return to the Middle East. Podcasts Home; ECFR's World in 30 Minutes; ECFR Clips; Event Recordings; Subscribe to Podcasts; Subscribe to our podcasts. While the literature on Russia in the Middle East is extensive, recent analysis has understandably focused on Syria, giving less attention to Moscow's relations with other countries in the region. iTunes. Russia’s military and security strategy in the Middle East is still evolving, and it feels like Russia is becoming an increasingly sophisticated player … Nowadays, oil and natural gas are the most important strategic resources in the international energy mix. Tweet Share LinkedIn Print Listen to this episode. Moscow's approach in the Middle East may appear arbitrary as it lacks a clear ends-driven approach, focuses on the short-term, and seems, at least superficially, to be ruthlessly opportunistic and transactional. Russia promotes its ability to interact with many state and nonstate actors in the Middle East; most of Moscow's relationships are best characterized as transactional and are bounded by "insurmountable obstacles.". Recurring confrontations with the West are one of the main factors compelling Russia to intensify its activities in the Middle East. Required fields are marked *. All RAND perspectives undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity. She said that when Russia started intervening in Syria, it was like a shock and awe campaign. Russia in the Middle East: Part Six. And I just want to With change sweeping across the region, Russia will be unable to formulate a meaningful, lasting strategy in the foreseeable future, he added. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (R) meets with Khalifa Haftar eastern Libya-based military commander at the Russian Foreign Ministry's Reception House in Moscow, Russia … Before doing anything, policymakers must recognize reality: The Russians are not going away, they have a strategy to weaken the West, and it starts in the Middle East. The final component of Russian policy towards the Middle East, as emphasized by Russian workshop participants and Rus-sian literature, is support for existing state structures and govern-ments against both external intervention and internal insurrection. Russia’s Vladimir Putin, set to be re-elected for yet another presidential term on Sunday, has spent much of his latest six-year mandate trying to increase Moscow’s influence in the Middle East. Jon Alterman: If you find yourself with a layover at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport and have some time to spare, take some time to watch the news.Large flatscreen TVs are mounted all over the terminals, proudly playing news in different languages—Arabic, French, English, and Spanish. Russia's Strategy for the Middle East: Stabilize, Revitalize, Create Chaos. About Vance Serchuk September 12, 2019 10:32 AM. https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/03/16/the-middle-east-needs-a-steady-boyfriend While Russia does have a long-term strategy in the Middle East, it is freighted with significant restraints and constraints. News Clip: This week: a battle for the hearts of OPEC.Who will capitulate first: Putin or MBS, as a price war decimates the markets. Middle East states use Russia as an alternative and a signal to the West. It states that Moscow will continue to contribute to stability in the region and focus on the "political and diplomatic resolution of conflicts." Russia in the Middle East: Part Two. By continuing to use this website you are giving consent to cookies being used. Candidate, Pardee RAND Graduate School, by James Sladden, Becca Wasser, Ben Connable, Sarah Grand-Clement. Russia is taking advantage of the power vacuum created by America’s desire to disengage from the Middle East. Russia has goals, but to Western observers they appear to be either transactional or, in the longer term, generalizable to the point that they constitute broad precepts rather than global, regional, or state-specific strategies. Russia’s inability to finance a sustained and meaningful presence in the Middle East is a handicap equally stressed upon by former Kremlin adviser Alexander Nekrassov. Russia's Strategy in the Middle East Russia's Strategy in the Middle East . Russia, however, is pursuing this strategy not because it wants to be a major leader in the Middle East, but because it wants to accumulate as much influence as possible. 02 March 2016: Russia’s strategy in the Middle East and its implications for the region by ECFR Events. Subscribe to the weekly Policy Currents newsletter to receive updates on the issues that matter most. Cyprus, being a member of the European Union, can do Russia’s bidding within the Brussels-based body. Largely absent from the Middle East for the better part of the previous two decades, Russia intervened to save Bashar al-Assad’s regime and reasserted itself as a … Over the last few years, the myth of a Russian “return” to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has captured increasing attention from policy-makers all over the area and beyond, as well as the academic community. 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Russia has been playing a more active role in the Middle East in the last five years, and before committing to strategic cooperation with Russia, it is helpful to judge Russia’s objectives and strategies in the region. With the Russian intervention in Syria, Russia is militarily back in the Middle East for the first time since the Cold War. Russia is on a roll in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia has given Russian President Vladimir Putin the red-carpet treatment. website. Moscow’s approach in the Middle East may appear arbitrary as it lacks a clear ends-driven approach, focuses on the short-term, and seems, at least superficially, to be ruthlessly opportunistic and transactional. There’s an intense debate raging within the Alternative and Independent media over whether Russia’s contemporary Mideast strategy amounts to “balancing” or “betraying” the Resistance given the Eurasian Great Power’s extremely close military cooperation with “Israel” in Syria. Moscow and Ankara are at the brink of a major conflict, given Erdoğan’s attempts to rake up Turkic sentiment in regions like Central Asia and Azerbaijan to eat into Moscow’s former Soviet space. Turkey and Israel must now accept the presence of Russian troops on their borders. The region occupies a special role in Russia’s strategy for strengthening its producers’ presence in the international oil and gas markets. All the alliances that Trump stitched so painstakingly begin crumbling as Biden era begins. Russia's strategy in Syria shows how to win a Middle East war Kamal Alam Published date: 11 July 2018 08:20 UTC | Last update: 2 years 6 months ago Does the fact that Russia outplayed the United States on Syria suffice as evidence of Moscow’s “grand strategy” for the broader region? https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/mec/2018/05/01/russias-strategy-in-the-middle-east This project is a RAND Venture. RAND perspectives present informed perspective on a timely topic that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. This Perspective seeks to identify the important elements of Russian interests in the Middle East beyond Syria, to define the nature of Russian engagement in the region, and to describe the contours of a Russian strategy in the Middle East. “Both the unrest in Syria and the Arab Spring presented Russia with the opportunity to increase its engagement in the region and were accompanied by a rapid uptick in Russian economic and political activities across the region,” explains Becca Wasser for RAND. Jon Alterman: Natasha Hall is now my colleague at CSIS, but in 2015 she was interviewing Syrian refugees in the field, first for the U.S. government and then for a U.S.-based non-governmental organization. RSS. Tagged #russia #syria #us #mena. What are the elements of Russian interests in the Middle East beyond Syria? Russia's multifaceted diplomatic relations and recent interventionist trend are likely to be superseded by longer-term economic, energy, and arms deals. Russia’s Waning Influence. The RAND Corporation is a research organization that develops solutions to public policy challenges to help make communities throughout the world safer and more secure, healthier and more prosperous. Russia’s 2015 intervention in Syria, which caught many by surprise, seemingly heralded Moscow’s triumphant return to the Middle East. Russia's Middle East strategy appears to be reaping dividends, but it is not without significant challenges and risks. SUMMARY . Rather than always being on the defensive, the United States should work harder at creating first impressions. The Kremlin has been careful not to overcommit. Russia, however, is pursuing this strategy not because it wants to be a major leader in the Middle East, but because it wants to accumulate as much influence as possible. As president, Barack Obama launched … 5 Executive Summary Russia’s political, diplomatic, military and economic footprint in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has expanded visibly over the last decade. Just as Russia seeks to engage in the Middle East for its own benefit, these states also seek to use Russia to their advantage. Jon Alterman: In March of 2020, as the much of the world was shutting down in the face of Covid-19, a price war between Russia and OPEC was heating up. Russia is seemingly resurgent in the Middle East, using a short-term focused, transactional approach to develop diplomatic and economic relationships across the region. Sladden, James, Becca Wasser, Ben Connable, and Sarah Grand-Clement, Russian Strategy in the Middle East. The 2015 Russian military intervention in Syria was a pivotal moment for Moscow’s Middle East policy. And Putin has been more than happy to play up the dissensions that have emerged between Ankara and Tehran. Russia in the Middle East . While Russia does have a long-term strategy in the Middle East, it is freighted with significant restraints and constraints. The title of this seminar/workshop is “Russia’s Strategy in the Middle East.” And to me that suggest two things: one, that there is one, a strategy for the Middle East, and that, two, that other countries also have other strategies in the Middle East. Russia in the Middle East: Part Five. In 2018, China announced billions in loans for the region, but only $100 million in assistance. The Russian Foreign Ministry has stated, “Russia and the UAE are consistent supporters of the settlement of conflicts and crises in this strategically important region of the world using political methods, through an inclusive dialogue that takes into account legitimate interests and concerns of all parties involved. Description. Ilan Berman. Russian Strategy in the Middle East. Diplomatic subtlety and astute foreign policy manoeuvres are rarely attributed to the Kremlin. Ilan Berman is Senior Vice President of the American Foreign Policy Council in Washington, DC and a member of the Associated Faculty at Missouri State University’s Department of Defense and Strategic Studies. Communications Officer Kadri Liik @KadriLiik on Twitter. This perception is at least partly accurate. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Your email address will not be published. Clear Policies Are Often Lacking, Strategies for Pushing North Korea Toward Denuclearization, Getting to Know Military Caregivers and Their Needs, Helping Coastal Communities Plan for Climate Change, Improving Psychological Wellbeing and Work Outcomes in the UK. Cyprus, for instance, coordinates with Moscow to pressurise a belligerent Ankara. The Middle East states have the greatest power and agency to determine the viability of any Russian strategy. 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