UARU
Russian Intervention In The Middle East, Explained
2 May, 2016
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What You Need To Know:

✓ According to Konstantin von Eggert: Libya could be next target, which would mean a significant increase in Russian-American cooperation

✓ The Middle East is “still a place, where Russia proves it’s metal against the U.S.”

✓ Russia’s hands are freer in the Middle East than in a post-Soviet space, in Ukraine, or in Europe, “where Russian economies are usually dependent on the ties with these regions, with these countries.”

✓ Cooperation between the U.S. and Russia “to some extent is dictated by Russia’s domestic economic woes and to some extent by the desire by the Kremlin to make a point in Syria, but not to cross the line into something, into a situation which could provoke uncontrolled escalation.”

Russia's intervention in Syria caught much of the West by surprise. Its air force, bombing targets opposing the forces of President Bashar al-Assad, have managed to turn the war's tide just as the regime appeared to be on the verge of collapse. Many experts now wonder what will happen next. According to Konstantin von Eggert, a journalist at Russia’s Dozhd television network, Libya could be next target, which would mean a significant increase in Russian-American cooperation and joint operations “against Daesh, against ISIS, ISIL, whatever you call it in North Africa.”

According to von Eggert, the Russian political class is obsessed with the United States, and the Middle East is “still a place, where Russia proves it’s metal against the U.S.” He believes that the Kremlin is creating an agenda in which Russia will remain important for the next U.S. administration adding that to a certain extent, “Russian actions in Syria serve that goal.”

The Middle East was once a playing field for both the United States and Russia to showcase their power and strength, and it is still “a region where you can play geopolitical games without any big detriment to national interest.” He adds that Russia’s hands are freer in the Middle East than in a post-Soviet space, in Ukraine, or in Europe, “where Russian economies are usually dependent on the ties with these regions, with these countries.”

Currently, Russia has reduced its forces significantly in Syria and there is “more focus by the Russian forces on hitting essentially ISIS targets and not so much the Syrian opposition” which was once the case. He explains that this suggested cooperation between the U.S. and Russia “to some extent is dictated by Russia’s domestic economic woes and to some extent by the desire by the Kremlin to make a point in Syria, but not to cross the line into something, into a situation which could provoke uncontrolled escalation.”

Hromadske’s Tatyana Ogarkova spoke to Konstantin von Eggert, Russian Journalist from “Dozhd” on March 31st, 2016 in Kyiv.