Director for the Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences (since 2009); President for the Center for Strategic and Political Studies (since 1991); Editor-in-Chief of Vostok-ORIENS magazine of the Russian Academy of Sciences (since 1998); Member of the Scientific Council under the Security Council of Russia. Member of the Valdai Discussion Club.
Founder and Chairman of the Board, Center for Arab and Islamic Studies, Moscow (2006); Professor and Chair, Faculty of World Politics, Moscow State University (since 2003); Good Will Ambassador for the Alliance of Civilizations (2007).
Previous positions: researcher, head of the Middle East Center of the Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences (1984-2008).
Visiting Professor, Department of Political Science, American University in Cairo (1991);Visiting Professor, Department of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley (2003); Research Fellow, Bellagio Center, Italy, Rockefeller Foundation (2004); Guest Observer, Abu-Dhabi TV Satellite Arabic Channel (2001-2002); Russian representative at the High Level Group, Alliance of Civilizations under Secretary General of the United Nations (2005-2006).
Author of about 500 publications in Russian, English, French, Arabic and other languages.
Relations between Iran and Russia will continue to develop. But, apart from nuclear energy cooperation and military-technical cooperation, there are no other points of contact. Iran and Russia take similar stances on the Syrian issue and some other issues. Russia faces no threat of Shia extremism.
The situation in Syria is obviously deadlocked, with neither side able to win a military victory. The country, often called the heart of the Arab world, is being destroyed. Extremists are gaining more and more influence, and the greater their influence, the stronger the resistance from those who do not want an alternative.
Although Egypt is facing serious challenges, there are no grounds to overdramatize the situation. The Egyptian authorities should focus on ensuring a pluralistic system at home. Egypt is a large country with huge population and one model is unlikely to work for everyone. A confrontation with the military would seriously jeopardize the new government.
Turkey now has problems with nearly all of its neighbors. It also has problems with Russia, as Putin’s cancelled visit has shown, although the improvement of relations with Russia was seen as a major achievement of Turkey’s foreign policy. These relationship problems are being fostered by such absurd and unseemly incidents as the forced landing of the Syrian plane.
New Arab elites will need Russia’s support. This primarily applies to Islamist parties whose agendas include relations with Russia – they need them at least as a counterbalance to the West. Mistrust of the West, serious disagreements, the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict in general and Israel’s actions in the region in particular are making Russia a useful partner and ally in some issues.
Despite the difficulties and criticisms this policy has given rise to, Russia’s active policy in the region proves that without its involvement, it is virtually impossible to settle a major regional crisis like the one in Syria.
Russia is not ready to take serious actions in the Middle East other than those that comply with international law. It will not allow the adoption of a resolution sanctioning the use of force against Syria and Iran, nor will it use force to counter actions unsanctioned by the world community either.