View Full Version : Russia and the Persian Gulf

08-10-2007, 07:58 PM
CSRC, 5 Aug 07: Russia and the Persian Gulf: The Deepening of Moscow’s Middle East Policy (http://www.defac.ac.uk/colleges/csrc/document-listings/middle-east/07%2825%29MAS.pdf)

Key Points

* Vladimir Putin’s visit to Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Jordan in February 2007 is part of Russia’s return to the Middle East.

* The post-Soviet Russian leadership sees the Middle East as an area in which Russia already has wide-ranging political, economic and security interests.

* The widening of contacts with Saudi Arabia and Qatar is a new feature of post-Soviet Russian foreign policy.

* The abandonment of Marxist-Leninist ideology makes Russian foreign policy in the region more flexible.

* Moslem discomfort with US policy in Iraq gives Moscow further opportunities to broaden its presence. Rivalry with the USA is a significant feature of Putin’s Middle East policy.

08-10-2007, 08:16 PM
This story hit the CIS in early July, and most merely contended it was yet again Baltic Fear and simple Russian rhetoric.

From the Russian News Agency (http://en.rian.ru/analysis/20070717/69133715.html):

MOSCOW. (RIA Novosti political commentator Marianna Belenkaya) - For everything there is a season, we have been told. Nowhere is that more true than in the Middle East. George W. Bush should therefore be commended for borrowing the idea of holding a Middle East peace conference from Vladimir Putin.

The Russian president first made the proposal over two years ago, but the time was not quite right. The U.S. president, it seems, has resurrected Putin's idea in a last ditch effort to keep his own Middle Eastern policy afloat.

He called on all "countries in the region that support a two-state solution to the long Israeli-Palestinian standoff" to gather in the autumn for a conference "headed by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice."

More at the link...

Dominique R. Poirier
08-10-2007, 09:25 PM
This report is a useful reminder of the Russian diplomatic moves in the Middle East during the first half of this year which were clearly triggered by the alarming tensions between the United States and Iran beginning from circa the end of 2006 on; a last detail the author of this report does not elaborate about despite its importance, regretfully.

Equally, the author seems unwilling to elaborate on the Russian relationship with Iran.

Overall, the facts the author reports about add to our concern about Russian ambitions on gas and oil worldwide; and certain quotations confirm an aggressive Russian stand toward the United States that clearly goes beyond mere economic competition.

Equally important, this report shows that Russia’s opinion in matter of domestic policy is still largely inspired by its customarily undemocratic principles it is now seeking to promote in the whole Middle East.

I couldn’t but notice the last phrase of this article you recommend the reading:

“But then, Russia, remembering the most important teaching of communism, prefers the common good to its own personal ambitions, a principle it has demonstrated repeatedly in its efforts to resolve the Middle East conflict.”

Once more this does little to dissipate our fear that Russia still stick to its old uses and hypocrisy.

08-11-2007, 12:09 PM
....only tangentially related to the subject of the thread, but in regards to Russia in the Mid East I wanted to toss in a book recommendation:

Irresolute Princes: Kremlin Decision-Making in Middle East Crises, 1967-1973 (http://www.amazon.com/Irresolute-Princes-Kremlin-Decision-1967-1973/dp/0312175663), by Fred Wehling and published by St. Martin's ten years ago. Its a good read, and of value beyond the immediate subject matter in providing additional perspective to the strategic art of assessing leadership decision processes.