Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Deputy Chairman of the Board, Association of Russian Diplomats.
Participant of Middle East Section Conference “Scenarios and Models of the Middle East Settlement”, 2010.
The current developments in Syria are directly related to the broader processes at work in the Arab Spring, which largely explains the alignment of forces on the eve of Geneva 2. Islamists have stepped up their extremist activities. The alignment of forces between pro-government areas and cities and nascent administrative centers held by the opposition remains almost unchanged.
The Arab Spring and the crisis in Syria merely aggravated contradictions that had formed a gap between Realpolitik and the observance of the de jure intact norms of international law. Today’s question is this: Is the international community able to take concerted actions or will inflated ambitions of regional centers of power gain the upper hand?
The Syrian problem cannot be confined to regional boundaries, because it has highlighted a number of global issues, above all the question that should be raised at multilateral meetings: “Is it legitimate to declare governments illegitimate?” It looks as though no one respects international law any longer.
Considering its special geopolitical location in the region and fragile interreligious balance, if Syria does not begin a national dialogue without foreign interference, these consequences will affect the interests of all countries – Russia, Europe, the United States and Arab states. The conflict in Syria is increasingly acquiring religious overtones.
Regardless of who predicted a forthcoming power shift in the Arab World or the ripening of domestic conditions for democratic change, the speed of transformation and the forms of protest that emerged have come as a surprise to almost everyone in the international community. Those who became involved, including Russia, had to react and determine a line of conduct under conditions of extremely pressing urgency.