Finger-wagging aside, Russia’s main message during the so-called Arab Spring has not been about the United States. Rather, it has been about the Middle Eastern societies undergoing intense political change. And herein lies perhaps the biggest fundamental difference between Washington and Moscow in the “new” Middle East: whether the changes sweeping the region should be eagerly supported or warily monitored. Moscow’s experience as a patron of various regional strongmen and militant groups during the Cold War and afterward has taught Russian policymakers to approach political transitions with extreme caution, all the more so when they involve nationalist or Islamist ideologies and heavily armed private militias. From its own history, too, Russia has reason to trust the maxim that revolutions devour their children and are not especially kind to meddling foreigners.
To read the rest of the article, follow this link to the website of the World Politics Review: