September 18, 2015

U.S.-Russia talks on Syrian war begin, marking a win for Moscow

By Julianne Smith

Source: The Los Angeles Times

The Obama administration Friday began military-to-military talks with Russia over the Syrian war, an acknowledgment that Moscow has become an even more important player in the conflict despite U.S. efforts to isolate it.

The move is a major victory for Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has been desperate to break out of the diplomatic isolation imposed because of Russia's support for separatist fighters in Ukraine. Russia's economy has been battered by sanctions, low oil prices and a weak ruble, but Putin is hoping to put himself at the center of international negotiations over Syria. He plans to unveil a new diplomatic plan for the conflict this month at the meeting of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Until now, the Obama administration has loudly denounced the Kremlin for its continuing buildup of troops and arms in Syria.

Read the full article at The Los Angeles Times.

  • Julianne Smith

    Senior Fellow and Director, Transatlantic Security Program

    Julianne (“Julie”) Smith is Senior Fellow and Director of the Transatlantic Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. She is a contributing editor to Fo...