Russia’s role in the Middle East : Russian weapons sales to the Syrian Arab Republic, 1950-2010
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In this paper I look at the evolving role of Russia in the Middle East, analyzing transfers of Russian military equipment to its main ally in the region, the Syrian Arab Republic. By using Syria as a case study, I provide insight as to the evolution of Russia’s Middle Eastern policy, examine the motivations that play a role in Moscow’s decision-making process and the discuss the changes that have taken place in the Middle East military landscape. My research illustrates that Russia is a prestige seeking state that is motivated my domestic issues. Furthermore, sixty years of arms transfers indicate that Russia has never sold game-changing weapons to Syria as this would be counterproductive to Moscow’s main goal in the region: the brokering of a new Middle East peace deal.