Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 03/2013

The Mythical Alliance: Russia's Syria Policy

Dmitri Trenin

February 2013

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace


The Syrian conflict, now almost two years old, has claimed over 60,000 lives, bringing destruction to the country and destabilizing the Middle East. Joint international action is needed, but deadlock at the United Nations Security Council has so far prevented it. U.S. and European hopes that Russia would simply join them in pushing Bashar al-Assad out of power have proven wrong. A new approach is necessary to stop the carnage and create a transitional authority in Damascus that can foster national reconciliation.