Russia is trying to look tough at the U.N. Security Council this week, promising to reject a resolution backed by the European Union, the U.S. and the Arab League that calls for a political transition in Syria to end the violence there.* This is a new phase in Moscow’s efforts to defend its friend, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, which included blocking an earlier resolution in October that threatened U.N. sanctions against Damascus. Yet while Russia can use its veto power to paralyze the council again, the diplomatic battle over Syria has highlighted its weakness in global affairs.
The U.N. serves as the last bastion of Russian power in the international system. After the Cold War, the U.S. and its European partners dismissed calls from some Western hawks to prevent Russia from taking up the Soviet seat on the Security Council. The logic was clear: Moscow still had a lot of nuclear weapons at its disposal, and a place at the U.N.’s top table offered it a degree of residual prestige as well as reassurance regarding Western intentions. ...
To read the rest, sign up to try World Politics Review
Sign up for two weeks of free access with your credit card. Cancel any time during the free trial and you will be charged nothing.
Request a free trial for your office or school. Everyone at a given site can get access through our institutional subscriptions.
- Nile Deal Signals Regional Reset Among Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia
- The Realist Prism: For Iran Nuclear Deal, All Scenarios Amount to Leap of Faith
- Like It or Not, U.S. Needs Iran to Stabilize the Middle East
- Global Insights: Spoilers Emerge as Iran Nuclear Talks Reach Delicate Endgame
- Diplomatic Fallout: Can the U.N. Deliver for Obama on Iran, Israel-Palestine Deals?