In an interview on Fox News' “Happening Now,” Carnegie’s Matthew Rojansky commented on the crisis in Syria and its implications for U.S.-Russia relations. As Obama and Putin prepare to meet on the sidelines of the G-20 meeting in Mexico, Obama “gets to talk directly to the boss,” Rojansky said. Although the United States and Russia have been “cooperating pretty effectively behind the scenes for the last several years,” both presidents now have “some damage control to do.”
Russian political leaders continue to oppose intervention in Syria because they “reject the Libya precedent” and want to “portray themselves as having an independent foreign policy,” Rojansky added. Russia has also concluded a number of arms sales and energy contracts with the Assad regime. So, in the end, “if he [Assad] goes, the Russians don’t get paid,” Rojansky concluded.