Okay, things are getting clearer now. I will have to revise a couple of my estimations concerning the geopolitical dynamics in the region. It remains as complex as ever (just when I thought that the area was going for an alignment between Turkish-Israeli-Russian interests in the region). What had perplexed me was the Russian stance, which was somewhat mellow the last few weeks, and I thought this meant they were going to “pull out” from a strong support of Assad by reaching some kind of understanding with Israel. This is not the case.
So Russia clarifies: they are still very much IN the Eastern Mediterranean as a military presence, and this is why they sent their fleet there (stationed in Cyprus for a few days). They will also go ahead and give S-300 to Assad. This really complicates the Russian-Israeli relations (not excluding their agreements to co-operate on the Israeli gas findings. That seems to fall through…). Turkey is also susceptible into entering a “cold-war” with Russia in the area. (Esp. bearing in mind the energy issues, whereby Turkey figures prominently in the Southern Gas Corridor, which will inevitably antagonize with the Russian gas pipelines). The Israeli-Turkish relations are still susceptible to going either way: a normalization or escalation. I wonder to what extent Russian behaviour can be a catalyst to a normalization and a renewal of the old Turkish-Israeli alliance, uniting against the Russian-Syrian grid.
Is this area really the most geopolitically complex area in the world, or am I just being too self-absorbed (i.e. absorbed by the geopolitics of the area I come from)?
P.S. Question to Russia: Why give S-300 “to stabilise Syria”? Give them a nuke, instead. That should really stabilize everyone: freeze everyone for good!
28 May 2013 Last updated at 11:26 GMT
Russian arms ‘to deter foreign intervention in Syria’
Russia says it will go ahead with deliveries of S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to Syria, and that the arms will help deter foreign intervention. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said the missiles were a “stabilising factor” that could dissuade “some hotheads” from entering the conflict. Russia also criticised a decision by the EU not to renew an arms embargo on the Syrian opposition.
Mr Ryabkov said the move would harm the prospects for a peace conference. He said the contract for the S-300 missile systems had been signed several years ago. “We consider these supplies a stabilising factor and believe such steps will deter some hotheads from considering scenarios that would turn the conflict international with the involvement of outside forces,” he was quoted as telling journalists.
Russia’s envoy to Nato, Aleksandr Grushko, said Moscow was acting “fully within the framework of international law”, in delivering the arms. “We are not doing anything that could change the situation in Syria,” he said. “The arms that we supply are defensive weapons.”
‘We know what to do’
The BBC’s Jim Muir in Beirut says the Russian statement could be seen as an escalation. He says there had been reports that Moscow was holding back on delivering the arms, in exchange for an Israeli commitment not to carry out further air raids over Syria.
Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon said the Russian missile systems had not yet left Russia. “I hope they will not leave, and if, God forbid, they reach Syria, we will know what to do,” he said. Russia has repeatedly blocked efforts to put more pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Along with the US, it has been leading efforts to organise an international peace conference on Syria next month.
Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22688894 (Retrieved: 28/5/13, 13:05 GMT)