Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 10/2013

Russia and the Arab Spring

Alexey Malashenko

October 2013

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace


Russia has spent over a decade trying to recapture the influence the Soviet Union once enjoyed in the Middle East, but President Vladimir Putin’s attempts to position Moscow as a key regional player have come up short. With revolutions across the Arab world overturning old orders and ushering in Islamist governments, Russia’s chances for strengthening its position in the region look increasingly slim. The Kremlin must change course and ensure that its approach to the Middle East and Islamists reflects post–Arab Spring realities.