02 June 2012

RUSSIA / SYRIA: OPINION: Moscow's Foreign Policy...Explained.

    OPINION: Julia Ioffe

      "When an international crisis strikes, leaning on “objectivity” allows Russia to present itself as the parent in a room of screaming, disoriented children.'
     AND : '...when it comes to Syria, much as when it came to Libya, the (Russian) answer is, Let’s all calm down and recognize that there are no saints here—and therefore no villains. “We need to choose—if the priority is to stop the violence, as everyone says, then we need to pressure the regime and the opposition and get them to stop shooting at each other and sit down at the negotiating table,” Lavrov said on Monday.
     PLUS: '...what, objectively, is Russia’s interest here (in Syria)? 
      According to expert Georgy Mirsky, the issue isn’t the Russian Navy port at Tartus, or even the arms sales to Assad—which, by the way, have not stopped—or even Russian Orthodox support of Syrian Christians.
      The issue is an appearance of strength and independence. “If Putin shows weakness on Syria, it will look like what happened with Libya.”