Russia’s Military Action in Syria Making It Difficult to End the Syrian Crisis
Since Russia’s assertion that it is not supporting the Assad regime, there has been speculation over Russia joining the United States of America to support a political transition as a crucial step to end the Syrian crisis.
In his meeting with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry in Washington DC, US Secretary of State John Kerry addressed the issue by saying that Russia’s activities in Aleppo and in the region right now are making it much more difficult to be able to come to the table and to be able to have a serious conversation.
“And we have called on Russia, and we call on Russia again to join in the effort to bring about an immediate ceasefire and to bring about full humanitarian access.” – Secretary Kerry
Russia’s Cooperation Crucial to End Syrian Crisis
According to Secretary Kerry, Russia needs to contribute in significant ways to sustaining the ability of the opposition and others to come to the table and create an atmosphere within which you can actually have a negotiation.
“But they’ve made that very, very difficult over the course of the last days.” – Secretary Kerry
Secretary Kerry underscored the importance of Russia’s cooperation to end the crisis of the humanitarian catastrophe unfolding before the eyes of the world.
He stressed that Russia needs to join the United States in understanding that the Syrian crisis cannot go on, and that they have a major responsibility as a co-convener of the International Syria Support Group to create the framework within which that group can be successful and their word will be good.
Russia Supporting Assad?
Reports say Russia is still refusing to condemn the war crimes committed by the Syrian regime.
In October 2012, Russia and China vetoed a draft resolution that would have condemned the Assad regime. Russia is opposed to the establishment of safe no-fly zones which means that Russia is explicitly supporting the war-crimes committed by the regime.
Media reports say Sergei Lavrov the Russian Foreign Minister blamed the opposition.
Reports say that Russia is deploying naval military ships in the Mediterranean in an apparent gesture of support for the Assad’s regime.
Some analysts reportedly believe that Russia is worried about its heavy investments in Syria. Russia reportedly invested $30 billion in energy and tourism infrastructure and it has a naval base in the Syrian coastal city of Tartous. Reports say Russia fears that one day the international community might act against one of its client states in the old Soviet Union.
U.S.-Russia relations are often an uneasy mix of competition and cooperation.
US has real and continuing differences with Russia. While it may be tempting to downplay Russia’s importance, the United States simply does not have that luxury.
As a permanent member of the UN Security Council; as one of the world’s largest nuclear powers; and as the world’s single largest producer of hydrocarbons, Russia’s strategic importance to the U.S. will matter for many years to come.