Arab Summer


Should the United States Be Worried About Russian Activity in the Gulf?

Considering the prospects for trade, Washington shouldn’t yet be concerned by the growth of Russian influence in the Gulf. It’s obvious, however, that Arab countries are being increasingly proactive in diversifying their connections. Moscow is simply making use of this to gain economic and political advantages.

Can the U.S. and Russia Still Work Together on Syria?

After the recent breakdown of the ceasefire in Syria and the escalation of the Russian bombardment of Aleppo, asked three experts, one in Russia, one in the United States and one in the Middle East to comment on the question: can the United States and Russia Still Achieve Something Together in Syria?

Russia’s Foothold in Iran: Why Tehran Changed Its Mind

Perhaps Iran’s leaders would have suppressed popular indignation and Russian bombers would still be taking off from the Shahid Nojeh airfield now had it not been for Russian media playing up the prospect of establishing a military base in Iran, no matter how limited its resources and capabilities. The idea of handing over any part of its territory to foreigers is unacceptable to the Iranians

Russian-Turkish Relations: Quick to Destroy, Slower to Mend

While the Erdogan-Putin summit in St. Petersburg on August 9 aimed to end the conflict between the two presidents triggered by Turkey’s downing of a Russian fighter jet last year, upbeat reports and promises of eternal friendship conceal a long list of problems that can’t be solved any time soon

A Well-Timed Retreat: Russia Pulls Back From Syria

President Putin’s announcement that he is pulling back from Syria should not have come as a big surprise. He believes he has met most of his goals there—many of which have nothing to do with Syria itself. Russia has found a way back to the table where the world’s board of directors sits and resolves regional conflicts together.

Boomerang Sanctions: Russia Punishes Turkey

Turkey is one of Russia’s strongest trade partners. Imposing economic sanctions on yet another country is likely to hurt Russia itself the most.

The End of a Russian-Turkish “Golden Age”

The downing of a Russian plane by Turkey is jeopardizing the strong business and political relationship built by Ankara and Moscow. The two countries’ clash over Syria suggests that relations will get worse before they get better.

Paris, Russia, and the New Borders of Darkness

The Paris attacks signify the broadening of an “area of darkness,” of places targeted by the Islamic State, into Europe. The jihadists are not making a distinction between Russia and France. This compels Russians and Europeans to reflect on what they have in common despite their many differences.

The Kremlin and the Crash: Putin’s Dilemma

Russia’s leadership has so far resisted saying that the crash of the airliner in Egypt was an act of terrorism, for fear of a public backlash. But even if that were confirmed, Vladimir Putin would most likely decide to escalate Russia’s campaign in Syria.

Moscow Looks for Phase Two in Syria

Aware of the perils of a long military operation in Syria, Russia is taking another look at energizing the diplomatic track. But a number of issues will be very difficult to resolve, in particular the fate of President Assad.
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