Moscow…waiting for the right price
One of the strangest statements I have ever heard was the recent statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry about the current situation in Syria…Moscow said it had no objection to the departure of the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, if the Syrian people agree to the move!
Oh come on! Is this the first time you have heard of the Syrian people’s desire to get rid of al-Assad? Did the Russian Foreign Ministry not hear about the massive demonstrations in Daraa, Aleppo, Deir al-Zour, Jisr ash-Shugur, Homs, Hama and Rif Dimashq? Did Moscow not hear about the Syrian people forming an alternative parliament in exile, in recognition of the current collapse of legitimacy inside the country? Do the millions who protest every Friday in all Syrian cities, their sole demand being the overthrow of the regime, not reach Moscow? Does Russia’s military intelligence service not know about the losses inflicted upon al-Assad’s army, and their lack of armor and ammunition, which had to be replenished recently by warships carrying weapons to the port of Banias last week? Did Moscow not hear, see or read about a new military unit that has been formed in the country, going by the name of the Free Syrian Army, consisting of officers and soldiers who have refused to serve in the regular army, and opted to join the peaceful demonstrators instead?
We hope that senior politicians in Moscow show us more respect and stop defending the regime, for they know – before anyone else – that it is doomed to a tragic end.
The worst thing about this Russian role is that Moscow is greatly helping to raise the cost of this regime’s inevitable end, through its positions in the Security Council and through its continued arms support to al-Assad.
It seems clear that Moscow, despite the fact that it knows the regime is doomed, wants to barter for a better price before it leaves al-Assad to his inevitable fate. Russia wants to secure several international guarantees, most importantly ensuring a continued strategic presence in the Mediterranean waters through the facilities granted to the Russian fleet in Lattakia, Tartus and Banias. Moscow is also interested in facilitating access for Russian companies working in the field of oil and gas, securing them the right to explore off the coast of Lebanon.
The final hour is approaching before Russia changes its stance, as long as it receives the right price!