Petr Topychkanov
Topychkanov was a fellow in the Carnegie Moscow Center’s Nonproliferation Program.
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Disappointed and bewildered by Russia's continued backing of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime, some Western and Arab dignitaries and political analysts have called on Moscow to take a clear stance and urgent action to put an end to bloodshed in Syria.

Speaking on Voice of Russia, Carnegie Moscow Center’s Peter Topychkanov argued that Russia lacks the resources for dealing with the situation in Syria and, despite its current support of the Assad government, will likely lose influence in the country regardless of the future political situation. Even if Assad is able to stay in power, Topychkanov said, he will have learned a lesson about Moscow’s decreased international leverage, forcing him to look elsewhere for allies, possibly to China and Iran.

While Topychkanov was hesitant to speculate on the endgame in Syria, he acknowledged that a “Libyan scenario” is possible, but suggested that the international community should focus more on near-term options to curb the violence and better understand the situation on the ground instead of attempting to predict an outcome.