Russia in the Middle East and North Africa: Continuity and Change

1st Edition

Chiara Lovotti, Eleonora Tafuro Ambrosetti, Christopher Hartwell, Aleksandra Chmielewska

Routledge
April 17, 2020 Forthcoming
Reference - 200 Pages
ISBN 9780367251284 - CAT# K423989

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Summary

After decades of intense interest and rivalry with the USA, the end of the Cold War and the dismantling of the USSR officially marked a period of significant retreat of the new Russia from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). However, with Russia’s economic recovery and the entrenchment of President Vladimir Putin, once again Russia’s interest in the region has risen. Once again seen as a battleground to contest US hegemony, Russia has expanded its political, military, and (to a lesser extent) economic relationships across the region. Most apparent in the military intervention in Syria, Russia has also been engaged with traditional rivals Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, stepping into the vacuum left by the Obama Administration in the USA. Is Russia’s re-engagement part of a strategy, or is it mere opportunism? This book examines this question via an analysis of both the historical drivers of Russian interest in the MENA region and the factors underlying current Russian policies. Benefiting from authors with different backgrounds, experiences and origins, this volume unpacks the key aspects that characterize the Russian presence in the area, including national interest, historical ties, economic, political and cultural cooperation, and perceptions of other relevant international actors.

Chiara Lovotti is an Associate Research Fellow for the Middle East and North Africa Centre of the Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI).

Eleonora Tafuro Ambrosetti is a research fellow at the Russia, Caucasus and Central Asia Centre at ISPI.

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