It seems that Russian diplomacy has set itself a goal to overheat the minds of the potential aggressors. In any case, it seems with the Russian arms sales to Syria, about it has been reported the day before yesterday and yesterday, that they are “discontinued”, remain the same and are continued.
The existing contracts are continued to be met, and several Russian-language resources (such as Untro.Ru) even report, that the arms deliveries under the existing contracts will be executed “at any cost“.
This applies to the contracted deliveries of air defense systems and the already abundantly discussed, refurbished helicopters.
This message seems to have not come through to German and English news sites until now, but in any case, it is the talk about that the waiver of Russia on the arms sales to Syria, as it was reported two days ago, only concerns new contracts
However, it is less likely that it is here about a tricky maneuvering or efforts to fool someone. It can be the fact that pro-Western fractions within the Russian government circles are trying to influence the position of Russia, or at least the tactics in relations with Syria.
There is nothing extraordinary. In Turkey, for example, the relations of opposition politicians to Erdogan, who tries to push the country somehow into an armed conflict with Syria, is pretty harsh. Also in the United States, by far not all do welcome the foreign policy that is embodied by the crazy Hillary Clinton.
It is therefore not strange that there are also such tendencies in Russia, Syria, who would like to see the situation that Russia “gives up” Syria quickly.
Nevertheless, one is able to deduce from today’s meeting of the “Syrian National Council” (SNC) in the Russian Foreign Ministry, despite or perhaps because of its lack of results, a presumption, that Russia plays deliberately on time, because that would be currently the most promising strategy on the diplomatic front, if one has no other arguments and is not able to find instruments of power
The head of the “Syrian National Council” (SNC), Abdulbaset Sieda, has already complained, that these protracted negotiations would play a trump card in the hands of the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad by allowing him to use the gained time in order to consolidate his positions and also to use it for the destruction of the armed rebel groups and the injected foreign mercenaries.
Thereby, Sergey Lavrov reiterates constantly and persistently, that Russia is willing to cooperate with the opposition – if the opposition is sometime able to come to a unity and is then also ready to speak as a unit with the Syrian government.
Strictly speaking, this is certain cunning, of course. Lavrov is very familiar with the situation within the external Syrian opposition, he has just, with his contact with Abdulbaset Sieda today, again divided the opposition in a “internal” and “external” opposition.
All the meetings with Syria in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation are on this level in the last days – as already described, first it was the “internal” opposition’s turn, now finally the external “Syrian” opposition with Abdulbaset Sieda as leader.
In addition, the Russian Foreign Ministry knows the heterogeneity of the opposition very well and is also well aware about their inability to form a unit, of course. The only basis on which the opposition would agree, is the nonsensical phrase “Syria without Assad”.
So if the Russians set the willingness for negotiations with the Syrian leadership as a condition, this just means, that the matter is deliberately maneuvered into a dead end – or / and one has the target to deepen the split in the opposition.
All this is done in any case very thoroughly and solidly. To flout the Russian initiatives directly and openly is problematic – but these initiatives just give Assad time.
Here, it must be stated, that the experience with the ceasefire according to Annan is certainly taken into account by Assad; the Syrian government tries with all its power, and quite successfully, to regain the strategic initiative that was lost during the ceasefire.
In other words, despite all the confusing situations, Russia has in the diplomatic arena the initiative, while the Syrian government has largely the initiatives on the ground of facts.
No doubt, Russia is using its position as a permanent member of the UN Security Council (UNSC) with veto power and forces the West into a dilemma:
Should the time of diplomatic skirmishes be continued and end in further protracted debates or should they finally waive the last remains of consciousness for the international sense of right and wrong and leave the UN Security Council alone?