Stuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place in Syria

Source: Getty
TV/Radio Broadcast BBC World News
As the civilian death toll continues to mount in Syria, Russia finds itself stuck between a rock and a hard place.
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In an interview with BBC World News, Carnegie’s Matthew Rojansky argued that “the Russians are really stuck between a rock and a hard place” as violence continues to mount in Syria. Rojansky noted that the Russian leadership is having difficulty reconciling its principled position against international intervention and its support for Bashar al-Assad’s regime as the death toll grows.

While Russia supports the Annan peace plan, it believes in pressuring both the government and the opposition to lay down their arms. Meanwhile, regime change is still “off the table” because “Russia has major incentives to keep Assad in power.” If Moscow threatens to abandon Assad, it will quickly lose its leverage in Damascus and appear to capitulate to the West, Rojansky concluded.

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About the Russia and Eurasia Program

The Carnegie Russia and Eurasia Program has, since the end of the Cold War, led the field of Eurasian security, including strategic nuclear weapons and nonproliferation, development, economic and social issues, governance, and the rule of law.


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