Francesco Sisci on Russian moves in Syria

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Russia announces that in Syria Assad is ready to share power. This could be the beginning of a solution for Syria, and perhaps it could be the start of an unraveling of the clash between Russia and the U.S. That started in Syria when Russia helped Assad while the Americans wanted to topple him.

After that came Ukraine and its quagmire and because of the EU-US vs. Russia confrontation, the result was the improvement of ties between Moscow and Beijing. As we said sometime ago, Moscow felt it was pushed into the Chinese arms, and that was an embrace it had refused for two decades.

Now, the Russian statement on Syria comes almost hours after the US announced sanctions against China on cyberwar issues. These sanctions sour the climate of the forthcoming visit to America of Chinese president Xi Jinping. This visit may become ugly.

Does Russia see the possibility of realigning itself with the West which might be willing to collaborate again with Moscow against China?
A collaboration in Syria between Russia, EU and US is definitely more desirable than better ties with still controversial Iran. This collaboration can loosen ties between Russia and China at a very delicate moment for the relationship between Beijing and Washington.

Perhaps this is one more element for Xi Jinping to consider on his way to America.

Francesco Sisci
Francesco Sisci is an Italian sinologist, author and columnist who lives and works in Beijing. He is the contributor for Il Sole 24ore, and a frequent commentator on international affairs for CCTV and Phoenix TV.
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