'Impact of COVID-19 on Russia's Middle East and Syria Policies'   [open pdf - 0B]

From the Document: "May 3rd, Russia's COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] infection rate resembled that of the United Kingdom. This situation has the potential to significantly impact the country's financial situation, influencing the country's foreign policy toward the Middle East. [...] The Russian situation is complicated by the fact that the outbreak of COVID-19 coincided with the dramatic decline in oil and gas prices. The federal budget's breakeven price for 2020 was set at $42.4 per barrel. However, prices by the end of March and the beginning of April went significantly lower. This means that Russia may not be able to match the predicted government spending for 2020. Moreover, its leadership may not be able to spend money as generously to advance projects serving the country's foreign policy. Moscow, short on revenue, will unlikely take foreign policy and domestic political adventures. Foreign policy projects, primarily those that require significant budgetary expenditures in the Middle East and specifically in Syria, will be frozen. A passive Russian international engagement is expected to dominate until the end of 2020. The exception to this policy will be when a response is unavoidable. Domestic policy is likely to be just as reactive. The baseline will likely be to maintain the current state of affairs and absorb any shocks to stability given the scarcity of financial resources."

Report Number:
Syria Transition Challenges Project Discussion Paper No. 8
Geneva Centre for Security Policy
Retrieved From:
Geneva Centre for Security Policy : https://www.gcsp.ch/
Media Type:
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