July 28, 2016

The GCC View of Russia: Diminishing Expectations

Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, meets with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, right, crown prince of Abu Dhabi, in Moscow on March 24. (Mikhail Klimentyev/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Prior to the Russian military intervention in Syria that began in September 2015, some Gulf Cooperation Council governments had become hopeful that they could induce Russia to accept the GCC objective of the departure of President Bashar al-Assad from Syria and that Moscow would distance itself from Tehran in exchange for stronger economic ties with the GCC. With the Russian intervention in Syria, however, it has become clear that this approach has not succeeded in altering Russian foreign policy. The question that now arises is: Can the GCC states that are most anxious for a change in Russian policy toward Syria and Iran do anything to encourage such a shift?

The AGSIW Gulf Rising Series

This paper was developed as part of AGSIW’s Gulf Rising series analyzing the energized role of the Gulf Arab states  in the international system. The series looks beyond GCC relations with the United States to examine ties with other key countries and regions. Additionally, it investigates motivations behind Gulf Arab states’ foreign policy choices and evaluates the implications for U.S. foreign policy toward the GCC states and the region.