Russia in Syria: Opportunism or Strategy for the Long Game?

Tue, Sep 25, 2018, 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm
Sponsored by the Program in Russia, East European and Eurasian Studies; co-sponsored with the Program in Near Eastern Studies and the Institute for the Transregional Study of Contemporary Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia.

Talk Abstract: Three years into the Russian presence in Syria, Moscow is trying to figure out its long-term engagement in the country and in the Middle East in general. The Kremlin’s decision to launch the campaign in the fall 2015 has been - and will continue to be debated across policy communities and studied across IR scholars and the militaries on multiple dimensions. One of the most important implications of the campaign for Moscow is the system of relations Russia has come to develop with major regional stakeholders - Iran, Turkey and Israel in particular - throughout the course of the Syrian war. Russia’s campaign in Syria will undoubtedly be among key factors defining Russian foreign policy and military course for years to come. Yet it still remains an open question whether it is a product of a thoroughly though-out strategy or a set of opportunistic moves that lead to certain failures and successes.

Maxim A. Suchkov, PhD, is a Senior Fellow at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO-University) where he also lectures on Russia’s foreign policy and US-Russia relations. In addition, Dr. Suchkov is editor of Al-Monitor’s Russia-Mideast coverage and a non-resident expert at the Russian International Affairs Council and the Valdai Discussion Club. This year he is also an associate research fellow at the Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI). Formerly he was a Fulbright Visiting Fellow at Georgetown University (2010-2011) and New York University (2015). His expertise includes Russian foreign policy, US-Russia relations, security developments in the Middle East and the post-Soviet space.

Please contact Carole Frantzen with any questions.

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