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. Little do they know that it can lead to a mutiny. 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. With change sweeping across the region, Russia will be unable to formulate a meaningful, lasting strategy in the foreseeable future, he added. Saudi Arabia has given Russian President Vladimir Putin the red-carpet treatment. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 2017. https://www.rand.org/pubs/perspectives/PE236.html. Russia’s strategy in the Middle East and its implications for the region. Recurring confrontations with the West are one of the main factors compelling Russia to intensify its activities in the Middle East. RAND perspectives present informed perspective on a timely topic that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. But Russia’s Middle East strategy holds clear limitations and has real practical drawbacks. Even when it comes to the democratic world, represented by the EU and NATO, Putin has managed to outdo Turkey. Of course, Russia would be the biggest gainer if the UAE and Iran focus their energies on reining in Turkey, rather than fighting each other. 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. Ilan Berman. Description. This widespread narrative originated, in particular, in the Syrian crisis and the Russian military intervention in the country. Russia's Strategy in the Middle East Russia's Strategy in the Middle East . Russia's Strategy for the Middle East: Stabilize, Revitalize, Create Chaos. Russia’s military intervention in Syria has the potential to shift the long-term geostrategic outlook for the Middle East. Russia’s Middle East Strategy Egypt: Increased Dealmaking Will Likely Harm the United States and Allies. 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. Russia’s Middle East Power Play By Vance Serchuk. Russia in the Middle East: Part Two. 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. 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. 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. Therefore, Russia is trying to drive regional sentiment against Turkey. Cyprus, for instance, coordinates with Moscow to pressurise a belligerent Ankara. Absent deeper commitments, Russia is beholden to other actors, dynamics and events to create windows of opportunity. 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. Now, there is a reason why Moscow is bringing up issues like Syria and Libya. Your email address will not be published. RSS. The research was conducted by the Center for Middle East Public Policy. Senior Policy Fellow Video 8 March 2016. Erdoğan’s Azeri separatist narrative, following the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia, has caused fissures in the Iran-Turkey relationship. Russian-Turkish partnership in their common neighborhood looked a possibility. Sladden, James, Becca Wasser, Ben Connable, and Sarah Grand-Clement, Environmental and Natural Resource Management, Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center, Rethinking the U.S. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. What are the elements of Russian interests in the Middle East beyond Syria? 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. What is Russia's strategy in the Middle East? 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. 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. Does the fact that Russia outplayed the United States on Syria suffice as evidence of Moscow’s “grand strategy” for the broader region? 109 Nicu Popescu and Stanislav Secrieru Annex Abbreviations 117 Notes on the contributors 119 11 9 10 8 . 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. The region occupies a special role in Russia’s strategy for strengthening its producers’ presence in the international oil and gas markets. Over that same period, Russia has provided less than $100 million in humanitarian aid to the Middle East. This report is part of the RAND Corporation perspective series. https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/03/16/the-middle-east-needs-a-steady-boyfriend 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 Russia's Strategy in the Middle East . Conclusion: Russia in the Middle East – from surge to quagmire? Russia in the Middle East: Part Six. Russia's Strategy in the Middle East Russia's Strategy in the Middle East . Russia’s new “grand 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. Privacy Policy Agreement * I agree to the Terms of use and Privacy Policy. Russia in the Middle East . 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. While Russia does have a long-term strategy in the Middle East, it is freighted with significant restraints and constraints. 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. Diplomatic subtlety and astute foreign policy manoeuvres are rarely attributed to the Kremlin. by. 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. Share on Facebook; Share on Twitter; Share on … Please enter your username or email address to reset your password. She said that when Russia started intervening in Syria, it was like a shock and awe campaign. As of late 2016, this lack of focus on Russian activity in the broader Middle East had left the important question of Moscow's regional strategy and longer-term intent all but unaddressed. Russia in the Middle East: Part Five. To some in the United States, Russia may look like a declining power. Within the EU also, Moscow has been able to drum up sentiment against Turkish belligerence in the Eastern Mediterranean. Russia is taking advantage of the power vacuum created by America’s desire to disengage from the Middle East. The 2015 Russian military intervention in Syria was a pivotal moment for Moscow’s Middle East policy. 02 March 2016: Russia’s strategy in the Middle East and its implications for the region by ECFR Events. More importantly, Russia wants to shift the attention of the leading Arab power- the UAE towards Turkish belligerence. Russian Strategy 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. 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. It states that Moscow will continue to contribute to stability in the region and focus on the "political and diplomatic resolution of conflicts." It is easier to grasp Russian strategy by contrasting it with Chinese strategy. So, Russia’s action plan is to simmer down tensions between the UAE and Iran and pit them against an isolated Turkey instead. Russia’s military and security strategy in the Middle East is still evolving, and it feels like Russia is becoming an increasingly sophisticated player … And I just want to 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. The Middle East states have the greatest power and agency to determine the viability of any Russian strategy. 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. When Russia’s resources and opportunities are scarce and engagements with Middle Eastern states decrease, influence will decrease accordingly. 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 strategy in the Middle East is to stay closer to all other players in the region than they are to one another. President Vladimir Putin has made clear his desire to restore Russia to great-power status and … 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. This project is a RAND Venture. 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. 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. Subscribe to the weekly Policy Currents newsletter to receive updates on the issues that matter most. “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. Turkey and Israel must now accept the presence of Russian troops on their borders. This perception is at least partly accurate. Russia’s strategy in the Middle East is to stay closer to all other players in the region than they are to one another. Middle East states use Russia as an alternative and a signal to the West. Russia’s 2015 intervention in Syria, which caught many by surprise, seemingly heralded Moscow’s triumphant return to the Middle East. This website uses cookies. Russia’s 2015 intervention in Syria, which caught many by surprise, seemingly heralded Moscow’s triumphant return to the Middle East. It was proposed to exchange views on the situation in Syria, Libya and Yemen.”. Russia has little to offer to the region’s Arab societies, which need security, stability, and opportunities for political and economic modernization. About Vance Serchuk September 12, 2019 10:32 AM ... the growing influence of the Kremlin as a strategic force across the greater Middle East… Funding for this venture was provided by philanthropic contributions from RAND supporters and income from operations. High-level visits and arms sales will not achieve those ends. 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