While previously Western countries refused any dialogue with Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, now they have to take into account Russia’s approach, Swedish defense analyst Stefan Ring wrote in his article.
He underscored that having launched the anti-ISIL military campaign in Syria Russia re-emerged as a major player in the international community. He added that the operation created the first possibility to hold talks on the Syrian settlement.
Russia has changed the game plan and, during potential talks, may demand that Assad stay in power, Ring wrote in his article for Svenska Dagbladet. Such a situation goes against the plans of the US and Europe, which have been demanding Assad’s resignation.
"Russia’s policy [in Syria] means Moscow entered the international arena in a manner no one has seen for several years," the analyst wrote.
Now, the United States, Europe and Turkey will not be able to voice their demands without taking into account Russia’s interests.
While the Russian approach in Syria has opened the way for talks on Syria’s future at the same time it has also complicated the political situation in the US. According to Ring, if US leader Barack Obama approves Assad’s participation in the negotiations, the Republicans will pressure him.
Speaking on the possible elections in Syria, the analyst underscored: "Now, Syria is not a country where elections could give a result acceptable to the West. Elections can only be held in the area controlled by the government, but such a vote makes no sense."