Russia’s interest in Syria

Whenever we are discussing Syria and its relations to other Nations such as Russia and the U.S, the issue of interest comes up. The main question however is, what is Russia’s interest in Syria ? According to the article Torgau, Syria? , Russia has been moving to supply Syria with tanks, armored personnel carriers, assorted artillery, and a detachment of Russian soldiers. Perhaps Russia is truly interested in helping out the Assad regime or perhaps it is an act out of self-interest. It seems that the U.N. Security Council is being prevented by Russia from passing anything that may hurt the Assad regime in Syria therefore making it illegal for the U.S., under international law, to send its military or commence military action against Assad, states Max Fisher of the Washington Post. This makes Cooperation between Russia and the U.S unlikely.

Fisher also states that the reasons for Russia protecting Syria is that Russia’s military base (which is strategically important for Russia) is in Syria, Russia still has a Cold War mentality, and Syria buys a lot of Russian Military exports (Russia needs money). Russia’s Cold War mentality and pride as well as it’s need to preserve its self interests seems to motivate its interest in Syria. Putin’s Approach to international relations with Syria is Institutionalism. According to Slaughter, of the book International Relations, Principal Theories, institutionalists believe that the international system is anarchic and that states are self-interested, rational actors who seek to survive while increasing their material conditions. Cooperation between nations however is possible. An Assad led Syria has been  Russia’s closest ally since the Cold War states the Washington Institute article . Syria was key to Soviet position in the middle east and was referred to as friends and allies. Russia’s backing of Syria is not only strategic but also rooted in a history of cooperation. The next question we must ask is that, is there a risk of a Russian dominated Syria ?

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2 thoughts on “Russia’s interest in Syria

  1. I wrote on this same topic. I find that Russia forming a growing presence in Syria and building a Forward Operating Base is rather interesting. The base is being built near an international airport perhaps with the full intention of jets landing and taking off. They are forming a strong Military presence while the U.S has zero boots on the ground. Just leading coalition airstrikes. What do you think could be their true intention? Humanitarian effort? Combat ISIS? or continue support for the Assad regime?

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  2. Interesting post! It is definitely worth noting Russia’s mounting influence in major geopolitical crises of late, particularly because of the nature and characterization of their incursion into these highly sensitive situations. Perhaps we are simply witnessing a growing Russian desire to be taken seriously once again, with regard to the international stage and the relative decline of the country’s international authority in the post-Soviet era. In any case, what is certainly clear to the international community is Vladimir Putin’s commitment to the preservation of Russia’s self-interest, as demonstrated by the country’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in March of 2014; and in terms of humanitarian intervention, Russia has, in fact, set a precedence for the specific type of action in the past (although, many believed the assistance to be a “Trojan Horse”). This article may provide some needed clarification! – http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-28752878

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