Russia and the Middle East

Viewpoints, Policies, Strategies

This collection of articles and essays paints an intriguing portrait of Russia’s Middle East vision and how it has developed over the last two decades. Carefully selected by Fyodor Lukyanov, editor in chief of the acclaimed journal Russia in Global Affairs, many of these pieces are written by officials who played a direct part in crafting Russian policy in this dynamic region: from the late Yevgeny Primakov, prime minister under both Yeltsin and Putin; to longtime Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, UN adviser Vladimir Orlov, and Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak.

Russia and the Middle East also features contributions from reputable scholars on a range of topics that include regional conflicts, the Arab Spring, terrorism, Islamic doctrine, demographic trends and much more. These experts, diplomats and state leaders address challenging, relevant questions such as:

  • Why did Russia choose Syria as the place to reassert itself as a superpower?
  • How do Russia’s geopolitical interests in the Middle East coincide and conflict with those of the West?
  • What repercussions has the Arab Spring had on the region and the world as a whole?
  • How can the global community address the problem of terrorism?
  • What economic opportunities does this region offer?
  • Does the Middle East hold the key to a “new world order”?

The issues examined in this collection will engage a wide audience of researchers, students and policymakers who have even peripheral interest in the Middle East, the Muslim world, and Russian geopolitical perspectives.


Russia and the Middle East
  • Editor: Fyodor Lukyanov
  • ISBN (print): 978-1-879944-75-6
  • ISBN (online): 978-1-879944-73-2
  • ISBN (e-book): 978-1-879944-70-1
  • Year: 2019
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 382

Table of Contents

Part 1. Strategy: Regional Problems in Global Perspective

1.1. Decades of International Insecurity
The United Nations: Challenges of Our Time – Yevgeny Primakov
The Fundamental Conflict – Yevgeny Primakov
The Modern Era and the Crisis of the 1970s – Aleksandr Dynkin, Vladimir Pantin
The Glass Menagerie of Non-Proliferation – Vladimir Orlov

1.2. Islam and Islamist Movements
Landmarks on the Road to Jihad – Aleksei Malashenko
The Modernization of Islam: How Plausible Is It? – Rafael Khakimov
Islam as We See It – Aleksei Malashenko
The Islamic State: Alternative Statehood? – Vasily Kuznetsov


1.3. Energy and Natural Resources
Oil Prices: Action Strategy Needed – Andrei Baklanov
Old Goals, New Tasks – Aleksandr Novak
Water and Peace – Anastasia Likhachova

Part 2. Tactics and Interactions: Falling Into the Same Traps

2.1. Countering Terrorism
Learning to Fight International Terrorism – Anatoly Adamishin
A No-Compromise War – Yevgeny Satanovsky
Demography and Terrorist Threats – Anatoly Vishnevsky

2.2. À la guerre comme à la guerre (Military Analysis)
Warfare Against the Rules – Aleksandr Golts
Winning a War Without Losing the Peace – Aleksei Arbatov
A Proving Ground for the Future – Ruslan Pukhov
The Limits of Capabilities – Prokhor Tebin

Part 3. The  Middle East as a Factor of World Order (and Disorder)

3.1. The Arab Spring: Democracy and Revolution
Revolutions and Democracy in the Islamic World – Yevgeny Satanovsky
A Different Democracy – Veronika Kostenko, Eduard Ponarin, Pavel Kuzmichov
Listening to the Music of the Revolution? – Aleksandr Aksenyonok, Irina Zvyagelskaya

3.2. Prospects for Stability in the Region
Democracy, International Governance, and the Future World Order – Sergei Lavrov
The Middle East: à la Versailles or à la Westphalia? – Pyotr Stegny
Between Crisis and Catastrophe – Yevgeny Satanovsky
Harass and Hold Out – Andrej Krickovic, Yuval Weber

3.3. Emerging Geopolitical Balances
By the Waters of Babylon – Dmitry Yefremenko
Russia: The Power Broker in the Middle East? – Andrei Kortunov
Will US Pullout From Syria – Increase Risk of Conflict With Russia? – Fyodor Lukyanov

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