As Obama and Putin prepare to meet at the G-20 summit in Mexico, the Syrian crisis is at the top of the U.S.-Russia agenda.
As the civilian death toll continues to mount in Syria, Russia finds itself stuck between a rock and a hard place.
All signs point to the crisis in Syria continuing, despite the increasing violence, as the international community is unable to formulate a unified approach.
Although Russia seeks to remain the critical broker between Bashar al-Assad and the Syrian opposition, its stance on Syria is beginning to shift as the prospects for Assad's long-term rule diminish.
The Russian government may be changing its attitude towards Syria and penalizing the Assad regime for failing to heed Moscow's advice.
The fact that the Red Cross has appealed to Putin for authorization to provide humanitarian relief to Syria proves that Russia has become an indispensable player in dealing with the Assad regime.
Although Russia has already missed its opportunity to salvage key political and economic interests in Syria, it will likely continue to oppose foreign military intervention and efforts aimed at regime change.
The Russian government's support for the Assad regime and refusal to endorse UN sanctions against Syria has earned Moscow condemnation from Arab citizens and diplomats alike.
In countries like Syria and Libya, where the situation is still fluid and tumultuous, Tunisia provides a great example of how a transitional election should unfold.
If successful, the Tunisian elections could provide a model for other countries in the region that are experiencing political transitions.