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 is seemingly resurgent in the Middle East, using a short-term focused, transactional approach to develop diplomatic and economic relationships across the region. Russia is on a roll in the Middle East. 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. High-level visits and arms sales will not achieve those ends. As president, Barack Obama launched … Sunday, September 10, 2017 at … Change, as one Russian workshop … The decision to increase Russia’s presence in the Middle East was also determined by economic drivers. Huawei and ZTE could be back anytime now, Biden Administration is all set to purge the “racist and extremist” elements in the US Army. 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. Now, there is a reason why Moscow is bringing up issues like Syria and Libya. In the Middle East, Russian propaganda fuels conspiracy thinking, feeding on the region's existing proclivities. 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 2015 intervention in Syria, which caught many by surprise, seemingly heralded Moscow’s triumphant return to the Middle East. Russian Strategy in the Middle East. Diplomatic subtlety and astute foreign policy manoeuvres are rarely attributed to the Kremlin. Executive Summary. October 5, 2020. Russia’s military and security strategy in the Middle East is still evolving, and it feels like Russia is becoming an increasingly sophisticated player … Russia’s Middle East Power Play By Vance Serchuk. This report is part of the RAND Corporation perspective series. RAND perspectives present informed perspective on a timely topic that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. Russia’s military intervention in Syria has the potential to shift the long-term geostrategic outlook for the Middle East. And I just want to Russian airpower saved the Assad regime from certain defeat. 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.". “Russia has managed to create the perception in the Middle East that it is more powerful, more capable and more relevant than the United States,” he said. Turkey and Israel must now accept the presence of Russian troops on their borders. This widespread narrative originated, in particular, in the Syrian crisis and the Russian military intervention in the country. website. 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. This widespread narrative originated, in particular, in the Syrian crisis and the Russian military intervention in the country. Rather than always being on the defensive, the United States should work harder at creating first impressions. 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. 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. It was proposed to exchange views on the situation in Syria, Libya and Yemen.”. Firstly, Russian interests in these two conflict zones themselves militate directly against Turkish interference. Nowadays, oil and natural gas are the most important strategic resources in the international energy mix. Russian-Turkish partnership in their common neighborhood looked a possibility. Soundcloud. Absent deeper commitments, Russia is beholden to other actors, dynamics and events to create windows of opportunity. Russia's Middle East strategy appears to be reaping dividends, but it is not without significant challenges and risks. The Limits of Russian Strategy in the Middle East by Ben Connable and Becca Wasser Becca Wasser is a policy analyst at the nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND Corporation, where her primary research areas include wargaming, international security, and US defence and foreign policy in the Middle East. Podcasts Home; ECFR's World in 30 Minutes; ECFR Clips; Event Recordings; Subscribe to Podcasts; Subscribe to our podcasts. All RAND perspectives undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity. Russia seeks to be able to effectively influence and shape outcomes, but a lack of means limits what it can achieve. What are the elements of Russian interests in the Middle East beyond Syria? Erdoğan’s Azeri separatist narrative, following the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia, has caused fissures in the Iran-Turkey relationship. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. SUMMARY . Russia's strategic objectives in the Middle East and North Africa : hearing before the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fifteenth Congress, first session, June 15, 2017 Conclusion: Russia in the Middle East – from surge to quagmire? View our. Russia’s strategy in the Middle East is to stay closer to all other players in the region than they are to one another. In the quarter century after the end of the Cold War, Russia and Turkey made a spectacular transition from age-old adversity to mutual respect and understanding, despite the many differences. Russia's Strategy in the Middle East Russia's Strategy in the Middle East . Candidate, Pardee RAND Graduate School, by James Sladden, Becca Wasser, Ben Connable, Sarah Grand-Clement. So, Russia’s action plan is to simmer down tensions between the UAE and Iran and pit them against an isolated Turkey instead. Over that same period, Russia has provided less than $100 million in humanitarian aid to the Middle East. Middle East states use Russia as an alternative and a signal to the West. Ilan Berman. While Russia does have a long-term strategy in the Middle East, it is freighted with significant restraints and constraints. Senior Policy Fellow Video 8 March 2016. This project is a RAND Venture. How justified are these expectations? But Russia’s Middle East strategy holds clear limitations and has real practical drawbacks. Recurring confrontations with the West are one of the main factors compelling Russia to intensify its activities in the Middle East. Does the fact that Russia outplayed the United States on Syria suffice as evidence of Moscow’s “grand strategy” for the broader region? 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 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. 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. Simply stated, there is no comparison. Within the EU also, Moscow has been able to drum up sentiment against Turkish belligerence in the Eastern Mediterranean. 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. Saudi Arabia has given Russian President Vladimir Putin the red-carpet treatment. Subscribe to the weekly Policy Currents newsletter to receive updates on the issues that matter most. by. Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience. Russia in the Middle East: Part Five. This is a part of the larger Russian strategy to isolate Turkey in the Middle East by pitting all stakeholders like Iran, France, the UAE, Cyprus and the US against Ankara. Russia’s 2015 intervention in Syria, which caught many by surprise, seemingly heralded Moscow’s triumphant return to 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. The Russian Federation has already won the war in Syria and is, therefore, the hegemonic power throughout the Middle East. Russia’s strategy in the Middle East and its implications for the region. 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. 02 March 2016: Russia’s strategy in the Middle East and its implications for the region by ECFR Events. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors. This is a part of the larger Russian strategy to isolate Turkey in the Middle East by pitting all stakeholders like Iran, France, the UAE, Cyprus and the US against Ankara. 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. During the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, French President Emmanuel Macron helped in activating the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group, which is led jointly by the US, France and Russia. 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. Russia has therefore succeeded in cornering Turkey on every front. Official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova disclosed that the Ministers of the two countries intend to discuss the developing situation in the Middle East and North Africa. Communications Officer Kadri Liik @KadriLiik on Twitter. Russia is likely to remain an important actor in the Middle East for the foreseeable future. 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. Drawing upon decades of experience, RAND provides research services, systematic analysis, and innovative thinking to a global clientele that includes government agencies, foundations, and private-sector firms. In 2011, it looked as if the Arab Spring uprisings would deal a further blow to Russia's declining influence in the Middle East, by toppling Syrian President -Assad, one of Bashar alMoscow's few remaining allies in the region. September 29, 2020. Historically, Russia’s main contacts in the Middle East used to be Turkey and Iran. 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. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. 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. And Putin has been more than happy to play up the dissensions that have emerged between Ankara and Tehran. While Russia does have a long-term strategy in the Middle East, it is freighted with significant restraints and constraints. It is easier to grasp Russian strategy by contrasting it with Chinese strategy. Russia in the Middle East . What is the nature of Russian engagement in the region? 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’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. This widespread narrative originated, in particular, in the Syrian crisis and the Russian military intervention in the country. The first section draws on Russian doctrine and the key findings from earlier RAND research, Russian Strategy in the Middle East, to explain the contours of Russia’s regional strategy and the activities that make up its approach.6The second section identifies the limits of Russia’s approach, including the inherent challenges stemming from Russia’s own political and economic systems, the limitations cre- … Funding for this venture was provided by philanthropic contributions from RAND supporters and income from operations. Little do they know that it can lead to a mutiny. Russia’s strategy in the Middle East is to stay closer to all other players in the region than they are to one another. The world that Trump gave us, but Biden can snatch from us, China may have given Turkey its vaccines in exchange of Uyghur Muslims to work at its sweatshops, ‘Honour your commitments,’ Thousands of illegal immigrants set out to invade the US after Biden promises citizenship to 11 million, Twitter’s alternative Parler was growing fast. This perception is at least partly accurate. Russia is intensifying its political and military involvement in Libya as part of a new Middle East strategy, which has several objectives. 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? RAND is nonprofit, nonpartisan, and committed to the public interest. 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. President Vladimir Putin has made clear his desire to restore Russia to great-power status and … She said that when Russia started intervening in Syria, it was like a shock and awe campaign. 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. Russia may not have a clear ends-driven regional strategy; it constantly seeks to improve its short-term economic, military, and political advantages while reducing the short-term advantages of prospective adversaries. Today, France and the US are at loggerheads with an unworthy NATO member- Turkey. September 8, 2020. Russia’s 2015 intervention in Syria, which caught many by surprise, seemingly heralded Moscow’s triumphant return to the Middle East. Russia has little to offer to the region’s Arab societies, which need security, stability, and opportunities for political and economic modernization. Even when it comes to the democratic world, represented by the EU and NATO, Putin has managed to outdo Turkey. Cyprus, for instance, coordinates with Moscow to pressurise a belligerent Ankara. By stitching consensus on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with France and the US, Putin was able to divide the NATO. Russia is taking advantage of the power vacuum created by America’s desire to disengage from the Middle East. 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. By continuing to use this website you are giving consent to cookies being used. Russia’s Waning Influence. Cyprus, being a member of the European Union, can do Russia’s bidding within the Brussels-based body. About Vance Serchuk September 12, 2019 10:32 AM ... the growing influence of the Kremlin as a strategic force across the greater Middle East… Interestingly, Moscow has also managed to drive a deep wedge between the UAE’s arch-foe Iran and Turkey. Sladden, James, Becca Wasser, Ben Connable, and Sarah Grand-Clement, Environmental and Natural Resource Management, Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center, Rethinking the U.S. Russia in the Middle East: Part Six. Share on Facebook; Share on Twitter; Share on … 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 in the Middle East: Part Two. 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. 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. 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. iTunes. Tagged #russia #syria #us #mena. 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. It has not overpromised and is pursuing an active diplomatic strategy, which has cost Russia very little in blood or treasure. In 2015, Russia launched a military intervention. 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. 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. Then Big Tech went after it and now its CEO has gone into hiding, With 23 deaths and countless “sick” people, the Pfizer Vaccine is turning out to be a disaster, India completely nails WhatsApp over its privacy policies, WhatsApp could lose its biggest market, Microsoft and Oracle have stayed away from the Big Tech political mess and that is going to give them an unprecedented advantage, Donald Trump has given some very clear instructions to Joe Biden and if he doesn’t play by his rules, things are going to get messy, Team Biden has suddenly gone soft on Donald Trump and his supporters, the reason is fear, It seems Bernie Sanders will be guiding Biden’s economic policy and it’s going to be 5 blocks left of Karl Marx, “5G and China Challenge” clauses have been removed from US State Dept. Therefore, Russia is trying to drive regional sentiment against Turkey. 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. Russia is making a concerted effort to reclaim its role as the arms supplier of choice for Arab governments. Tactical and more targeted contacts with the region have also been determined by President Vladimir Putin’s diplomatic strategy, his perception of the Arab Spring and the domestic political situation in Russia. 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. 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. The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. 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. The Middle East states have the greatest power and agency to determine the viability of any Russian strategy. In 2018, China announced billions in loans for the region, but only $100 million in assistance. 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