Through Which Gateway Has Russia Returned to its International Position?
Understanding the international positioning of every power and country involved in the Syrian issue is unavoidable to form a correct perception of the nature of the contradictory interests.
Without understanding these interests, any Syrian force, and even non-Syrian ones, will not be able to take precise and correct positions. In this context, what is much more important than the statements of this or that country are its actual actions. Perhaps even more important than actions is understanding the general context thereof; that is, its strategic dimension from the point of view of the country in question. The latter cannot be understood without a deep understanding of the major economic and geopolitical dimensions that govern the international and regional conflict.
This article does not provide sufficient space to define all these dimensions, but only discusses one of the ideas that we hear repeatedly from those considered “loyalty” and those considered “opposition” as well. This idea says: Syria is the gateway through which Russia returns to its global role. After we ponder this idea a little, we will present what we think is the political aim of proposals of this kind.
The Return Gateways
Undoubtedly, Syria, as a key to the entire Middle East, has a distinct and extremely important position within the entire international conflict. However, this should not lead to exaggerations that are extreme and detached from reality.
If we try to count the main gateways through which Russia regains its global role, apart from the Syrian one, it certainly includes the following:
1- The tremendous military and technical development, including hypersonic missiles and air defense missiles, especially the S300 and S400, fifth generation aircraft, 5G communication technologies, and many other things that the US does not possess yet, and by the recognition of the latter and even by the recognition of its defense minister last year in a hearing session in Congress when he declared that Russia is 15 years ahead of the US militarily.
2- The vast economic relations with the BRICS countries in general, and China in particular. These relations have gone beyond the stage of trade using local currencies to the joint establishment of a new international financial system, and these alone have the strategic weight of a world war comparable to the two world wars of the twentieth century.
3- The gas pipelines with Europe and Turkey, the northern and southern torrent pipeline, and what these two pipelines mean in terms of energy economic networking between Europe and Asia. This also means, a heavy blow to the maritime trade routes on which Britain and the US have historically depended, and further mean, laying the material rules to end the petrodollar, and subsequently to end the dollar.
4- Abkhazia, then Ukraine and the reconquest of Crimea, and then Nagorno-Karabakh, with all of what this implies of expanding the scope of safety on the direct borders of Russia, which since the collapse of the Soviet Union has been a playground for NATO sabotage operations, and part of it is still so.
5- The development of relations with both Turkey and Iran in an unprecedented manner during the past five centuries. Syria has an important role here in contributing to opening this gateway through the Astana track, but this path itself in the strategic sense has turned into a basis for building a new regional system with an international outlook. It suffices to recall the size of the bilateral joint projects between Russia and Iran, and Russia and Turkey, and perhaps more important than that is the type of those projects, from joint military projects to nuclear energy projects, to scientific and research partnerships, not to mention tourism and the usual trade exchanges.
6- The Russian relations with Latin America, whether it is Venezuela, Cuba, Brazil, or several other main countries within the continent. These relations have gone beyond simple commercial exchange to political, diplomatic, and military cooperation in many cases, and they have increasingly been causing pressure and hysteria to the US.
7- We also cannot overlook the relations with the main African countries, which are developing continuously, although they are still in their infancy.
8- There is also a general gateway, which is the cooperation with China in pushing towards grounding the fascist tendency of the Western elite, whether by fighting terrorism in several places in the world, or by working to advance political solutions, and to confront the “creative” American chaos, whether in our region or in many other parts of the world.
We can make many additional points, but we are content with that much to move to the second part of our discussion.
Why the Amplification?
As for those who present the idea that we started with from the “opposition” side, this can be explained within the following coordinates:
1- The extremists within the opposition know that the conflict in Syria is part of the international conflict, and while they are still counting on Western support to achieve what they want, it is in their interest to cajole the West in every possible way, and what way is closer to the West’s heart than showing hostility to Russia?
2- Illogically inflating the weight of the Syrian issue in the context of the international conflict aims to obtain additional support, where the argument takes the following form: Do you want to defeat Russia? It is enough to defeat it in Syria.
Regarding the portion of the extremists within the regime, whose exaggeration reaches the point of saying that Russia would not have returned to its global role had it not been for Syria, what we believe is the following:
First, exaggerating excessively the role of the extremists, whether from the regime or those around it, in what has happened so far with regards to deterring Western projects in the region, is intended precisely to reach the following theme: We are the ones who achieved victory, not Russia, and Russia needs us more than we need it, therefore, the fruits of victory are ours alone.
Second, and perhaps most importantly, what is meant by victory here is to close the door to radical democratic change in the interest of the Syrian people, that is, to keep the political situation as is and under the control of the money elites and the elites of neoliberalism. In one word: preventing the implementation of 2254.
Because the Russians, as declared and clear, are committed to pushing to the end for the implementation of 2254, some people do not like this. Some want Russia to work for them and for their own narrow interests, and on top of that they try to tell it that it was them who allowed it to return to its international position. All because deep inside, they fear the right of the Syrian people to self-determination. We also see them not sparing an opportunity to attack the Russians, directly and indirectly, and through “unofficial” means in particular, all the way to the level of directing threats to Russia’s troops, which has happened more than once.