NEWSWATCH: “Latest U.S.-Russian Effort on Syria: Good for Preventing Accidents, So-So for Everything Else” – Russia Matters/ Nikolas K. Gvosdev

Syria Map

“The one concrete result to emerge from … Trump and … Putin’s informal meetings on the sidelines of … APEC … has been the Nov. 11 U.S.-Russia Joint Statement on Syria. … [which] has elicited some official optimism, but what does it amount to really? … a promising step forward to end the strife in that war-torn land and ‘save tremendous numbers of lives,’ as Trump indicated …? … a workable roadmap for effective American-Russian collaboration and coordination? Is it, as Putin’s spokesman characterized … so clear in its language that it ‘does not require comments’ and is not open to multiple interpretations? … is this latest addition to a long list of statements, protocols and announcements … hailed as groundbreaking efforts to end the fighting in Syria really going to make the difference …? * * * The statement is important because it recognizes the crucial task of preventing any sort of clash between Moscow and Washington in Syria. … a clear message to the military establishments of both countries to take the steps necessary to avoid any accidents. But for those who argue that the Da Nang statement heralds an imminent shift in the trajectory of U.S.-Russia relations, I cannot share that optimistic appraisal ….”

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