Revived Russia-China friendship analysis

In relation to my latest post I’d like to signal an interesting analysis presented in The Economist. In this article, J.P.P. outlines why Russia keeps supporting Syria. According to the piece,”Russia’s support for the Syrian government has at least three motivations. First, standing firm against the West evokes proud memories of table thumping at the UN and plays well for Vladimir Putin, who is faced with an election at home that is likely to be more competitive than any he has fought before. Second, Syria allows Russia to keep a naval base on its shore and buys Russian weapons in return. Though Syria accounted for just 10% of Russia’s arms sales to the Middle East from 2004 to 2008, this was sufficient to make it “largely dependent” on Russia for weapons in the judgment of SIPRI, a Swedish NGO which monitors such things. Third, Russia fears a repeat of Libya and the establishment support for the principle of intervention by foreign countries to topple unpleasant regimes. This all helps to explain why Russia continues to stick by a regime that looks to be finished.”.

It is true the warmth between Russia and China seems like an exchange of favours in an evident mafia-like tacit diplomacy. Even though both governments fear the consequences that the proliferation of legal precedents for external intervention by third countries into sovereign states, their responsibility in protracting the agony given by Assad’s army into civilians will echo through the decades. Is this an unexpectedly revived two (or three) forgotten blocks scenario?

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