Speaking on WBEZ Worldwide, Carnegie’s Andrew Weiss explained that Russia’s position on Syrian intervention has several origins: worries about the precedent created by a possible U.S. intervention, Russia’s greater sympathy for Shia Muslims, and concerns about Syria’s possible collapse and the shockwaves such an event would create. He explained that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s placing of Syria on the agenda at the G20 Summit was an attempt to create a referendum on Syrian intervention, much like the one carried out in the British parliament. Weiss cast doubt on the idea that the United States’ possible failure to intervene in Syria would be a major win for Putin, noting that foreign policy issues have a low salience in Russian society. 

This interview was originally broadcast on WBEZ Worldwide.