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Russia Doesn't Give out Free Samples


The Obama administration keeps pressing that Russian reset button but the darn thing still won’t work. If Secretary of State John Kerry was hoping Russia’s recent transfer of weapons to Assad in Syria would be its last, he’s about to be disappointed. The Guardian reports that peace talks in Geneva jointly convened by the US and Russia to curb the violence in Syria will be postponed in the wake of yet another announced weapons shipment from Russia to Butcher Assad:

The US and Russia’s differences were once more brought into stark relief with the news that Russia’s MiG aircraft maker is finalising an agreement to ship at least 10 fighter jets to Syria. MiG’s director general, Sergei Korotkov, said a Syrian delegation was in Moscow to discuss the details of a new contract for the delivery of MiG-29 M/M2 fighters. […]

“We ask them again not to upset the balance within the region with respect to Israel,” Kerry added. “The weaponry that is being provided…has a profoundly negative impact on the balance of interests and the stability of the region and it does put Israel at risk. It is not, in our judgment, responsible because of the size of the weapons, the nature of the weapons and what it does to the region in terms of Israel’s security, so we hope that they will refrain from that in the interests of making this peace conference work.”

In early May, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov got the administration’s hopes up for a conference, but it’s been nothing but disappointment for Secretary Kerry since then. In the past few weeks alone, Russia has pledged to ship advanced air defense missiles to Assad over the objections of the US and Israel, arrested an alleged American spy, and is now about to deliver fighter jets to Assad’s forces.

Here’s more proof, if more were needed, that making concessions to Moscow in the hope that it will sweeten its mood and make it positively disposed to US interests is a foolish strategy. The Russians bargain hard and don’t give out free samples. We would be well advised to respond accordingly.

[John Kerry image courtesy of Shutterstock]

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  • Philopoemen

    Yes, of course, Israel. Never mind that they will be used against the Syrian population – won’t anyone think of Israel?!

    • USNK2

      Exactly what I was thinking. Kerry frames Russia’s arms sales as a threat to Israel’s security, but not about the humanitarian crisis in Syria, which was supposed to be Kerry’s real concern?

      • Nick Bidler

        It’s almost as though the U.S. counts Syria as an ally of adversarial regional powers, as opposed to viewing Israel as ‘any ally’ in a region where we have few friends.

        Realpolitik is not dead here, friends.

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