18:09 GMT +320 February 2019
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    What Isolation? West Needs Russia in Syria as 'Key Diplomatic Power Broker'

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    Russia Versus ISIL in Syria (618)

    Washington and European capitals are increasingly willing to "reconsider" sanctions imposed on Russia following the outbreak of the Ukrainian civil war "as a way of getting a key diplomatic power broker on board" at a time when resolving the Syrian crisis is a priority, BloombergBusiness asserted.

    Indeed, Moscow has played a major role in both preventing terrorist groups from overrunning Syria and launching the peace process in the war-torn Arab country.

    Although Daesh has been retreating since Russia launched its aerial campaign in late September 2015, the group is still strong enough to wreak havoc in the Middle East, northern Africa and beyond. It follows then that Moscow's help in tackling international terrorism is crucial.

    Alexei Pushkov, who heads State Duma's Foreign Affairs Committee, recently summed it up by saying that "feuding with Russia is stupidity, not politics."

    Taking the recent developments in the Middle East into account, BloombergBusiness noted that a thaw between the West and Russia "is within reach," since "the Ukraine crisis is no longer the only consideration for policy makers."

    High-ranking Western officials, including US State Secretary John Kerry, have recently hinted that anti-Russian sanctions could be lifted in the foreseeable future.

    But "setting the scene for an end to [Moscow's] isolation are government officials in France and Germany, who are running out of patience with what they say is Ukraine's inability to live up to its obligations of a peace deal they helped put together," the media outlet observed.

    On Monday, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble called for greater cooperation with Moscow in tackling the refugee crisis and resolving the Syrian conflict. Germany received 1.1 million asylum seekers in 2015 alone – a record for any European nation, but more will come as long as sectarian violence continues to tear Syria apart.

    Refugees are seen in their temporary housing in a former hardware store in Hamburg, northern Germany.
    © AFP 2018 / Daniel Bockwoldt
    Refugees are seen in their temporary housing in a former hardware store in Hamburg, northern Germany.

    Earlier this month, French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron also mentioned that Paris would like to see anti-Russian sanctions gone by the summer. Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said that the restrictive measures could be lifted in June if the Minsk agreements are fully implemented.

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    Middle East, Russian aerial campaign, refugee crisis, Ukraine crisis, isolation, anti-Russian sanctions, Syrian conflict, Daesh, Europe, Syria, Russia
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