WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Russia’s limited use of force to achieve diplomatic ends in Syria is a lesson to the United States, retired US ambassador Chas Freeman said in a speech at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
"[Russian Foreign Minister Sergei] Lavrov has been the best teacher that Secretary [of State John] Kerry has had in how to conduct diplomacy," Freeman stated on Thursday.
Freeman, though critical of the Russian leadership, noted that its six-month military intervention in Syria is "a brilliant example of the limited use of force for diplomatic purposes."
The Russian intervention reshaped conditions on the ground, Freeman noted, by clearly dividing the Islamist extremists from the Syrian government.
"By empowering the regime to regain lost ground, [Russian President Vladimir Putin] forced a peace process that is a lot more serious than its predecessor," Freeman explained.
Russia withdrew its air group from Syria in March, following the successful implementation of the Russian and US-brokered cessation of hostilities among the warring parties, which was renewed in early May.
The ceasefire, which improved the internal Syrian security, helped push the United Nations-sponsored peace process forward.
Chas Freeman is co-chair of the US-China Policy Foundation in Washington, DC. He served as US Deputy Chief of Mission and Chargé d’affaires at the US embassies in Beijing and Bangkok. Freeman also held several senior level positions at the US Department of Defense.