British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was scheduled to visit Moscow this week. His trip has now been cancelled, partly because he wishes to intensify diplomatic pressure on Russia, but also because he is keen to persuade the new US administration about the virtues of foreign and security policy coordination.
As Turkey has progressively increased its involvement in the war in Syria, the Iranian leadership’s reaction has been mixed – a result of the different views within Tehran about the future direction of the relationship with Turkey. This internal debate will intensify as the possibility of establishing no-fly zones in Syria has been endorsed by the US.
Last Monday a UN aid convoy was targeted and destroyed by what appears to be Russian-made munitions. It is therefore likely that either the Russian Air Force or the Syrian Air Force carried out the attack.
Despite the obvious antagonism between Russia and the US, the two states can also cooperate, as the current deal over Syria indicates, especially when Moscow wishes to expand its available strategic options.
The deal to implement a ceasefire across Syria brokered by the US and Russia is a major development in the course of that country’s brutal conflict. It presents a faint glimmer of hope – the first in years – that an end may be in sight to what to date remains this century’s bloodiest conflict.
Putin’s surprise withdrawal is not only to leverage Assad into constructive peace talks. It is also about creating more options for Russia to influence the direction of the military conflict and political transition as things change both in Russia and on the ground.
As the seige of Aleppo continues, RUSI Director General Dr Karin von Hippel, gives her assessment of the city's strategic significance and the importance of Russia to help bring an end to the Syrian...