Russia Could Lose Last Arab Ally as Assad Regime Teeters
BusinessWeek | Lucien Zeigler | 7.20.12
Vladimir Putin is being caught on the wrong side of the Arab Spring as the threat to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime raises the prospect that Russia may be left with Iran as its only friend in the region.
The day after a bomb decapitated Assad’s security command as fighting engulfs Damascus, Russia teamed up once more with China yesterday to block United Nations sanctions against Syria.
“The Kremlin has pushed itself into a corner that it can’t get out of, and it should have been smarter about the new order in the Middle East,” Theodore Karasik, director of research at the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis in Dubai, said in a phone interview yesterday. “Losing its last Arab ally and alienating all other former Arab partners, particularly Qatar and Saudi Arabia, is a huge strategic loss for Russia.”