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    Russian Foreign Policy in the Middle East

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    Vladimir79
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    Russian Foreign Policy in the Middle East

    Post  Vladimir79 on Tue Jul 14, 2009 4:31 pm

    Russian Federation: Israel-Syria Relations -- Whose Side Are They On?


    Joel Craun


    Military Analyst and graduate of The Citadel


    The relationship of the former Soviet Union to Syria has always been obvious over the course of Israeli history.  They have been the main suppliers of the equipment of every single war they have fought.  They have military cooperation agreements spanning decades.  No one would even question who the USSR would support in a conflict when they threatened to invade Israel in 1973.  Now that the Soviet Union no longer exists, there appears to be changing relations between the Russian Federation and the state of Israel.   Mass exoduses of FSU Jews are returning to a Russia that not only has a booming economy, but a government that is making inroads against the Anti-Semitism that drove them away in the first place.  Recent developments in immigration, visa requirements, and military projects have led to Russo-Israeli ties that are quickly expanding.  Israel is not the only one who is benefiting from increased Russian relations.  Syria’s military debt to Russia has been erased and they are being offered cutting edge air defense systems.  Russia has worked out a deal to base the Black Sea Fleet in Syria to counter NATO’s growing influence and offer military assistance and payment in return.  Basing the Black Sea Fleet in Syria could have serious consequences for Israel if war were ever to break out.  The influence of Russia on the two countries is a very important one as they can mean the difference between victory and defeat in any potential conflict.  This paper intends to review the changing dynamics between Israeli-Russo and Syrian-Russo relations in order to answer two questions.  Whose side is Russia really on and who benefits the most?  We will seek to find out by examining recent events and the impact they play on changing the strategic situation of the Israeli-Syrian conflict.    
                       
    Soviet relations have historically been in the support of advancing the interests of communism but were different in the Middle East.  While the Soviets were enforcing communist regimes in Eastern Europe and propping them up in South East Asia, the aid to Syria advocated only a policy of containment for United States foreign interest.  Both Khrushchev and Brezhnev instituted a policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of Syria when it came to Russo-Syrian relations.  They felt a policy of peaceful co-existence and mutual respect would best serve their interest in the Arab world.  This allowed for much more autonomy of the Syrian government than could ever hope to be achieved under the hands of a relationship with the United States.     This led the Soviets to provide low-interest loans and technical cooperation in the establishment of the Syrian military and economy.  The start of the 6-Day War saw a closer relationship forged with the Soviets as the US failed to condemn Israel and provide any modern weapons which were given to Turkey, Iran, and Israel.
     
    The Soviets found the Baathist regime of Syria attractive for their purposes.  Unlike the rest of the third-world where leaders came and went, forging ties with a single party meant that the relationship could last far past the demise of a single leader.  They were committed to a path of non-capitalist development and did not crack down harshly on the local communist party.   According to a 1969 CIA intelligence report, the power struggle involving Hafez Assad, defense minister of Syria, had the Syrian communist party forced underground due to their objection of his taking power.  They said “his ascendency would endanger the unity of progressive forces in the Middle East and weaken Syrian ties with Moscow.”    The report goes on to illustrate the problems Soviet advisors were having with their Syrian counterparts and outlined concern from Moscow over the power struggle.  Despite this, aid was not decreased.   Assad came to power in a bloodless coup in 1970 and much to the chagrin of the Kremlin; he wanted a large military which required Soviet help.   Assad closely mirrored the Soviet style of control through a “single-party police state, constructing a network of 15 competing intelligence agencies that mostly spied on his own people.”   Assad’s first priority was to rearm after the defeat of 1967 and Soviet aid came in the billions, while advisors came in the thousands.  This brought the end to any doubt by the CIA or Moscow that Assad might turn away from the USSR.  

        The defeats of 1973 and the 1982 Lebanon War at the hands of the IDF saw
    the need for even more reliance on the Soviet Union.   The F-15 had proven superior to the outdated Mig-21s and Mig-25s flown by the Syrian air force and were decimated over the Baka Valley.   After the defeat in 1982, the USSR “poured an estimated $2 billion into the Syrian arsenal after the war, including about 160 fighter aircraft and 800 T-72 tanks.”   With this shipment came a number of the more capable Mig-29A Fulcrum.   The Soviets were reluctant to export the much better T-64 MBT and Su-27 Flanker.  Syria was unable to attain better Surface-to-air Missiles and Anti-Tank Guided Weapons.  By the time the Soviet Union fell in 1991, the Syrian military was falling far behind the Israeli Defense Force and their arsenal of cutting edge American acquired technology.  With the economic crises faced by the Russian Federation in the aftermath of falling oil prices and the grain shortage, the Russians could no longer afford to give away economic aid.  They practically became a welfare state themselves.

    Vladimir79
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    Re: Russian Foreign Policy in the Middle East

    Post  Vladimir79 on Tue Jul 14, 2009 4:32 pm

    The years following the collapse only saw the situation worsen with the election of Boris Yeltsin to the presidency. His disastrous economic policies of transitioning to a market economy turned an already weakened nation to the worst economic depression ever seen in a major industrialized country. Following the advice of Western economists to liberalize the economy, Yeltsin reduced industrial subsidies and took off price controls. The net effect of these decisions caused hyper-inflation that sent GDP down by over fifty percent. New Russian arms production came to a halt as Research and Development funds dried up. The disastrous war Yeltsin waged in Chechnya did little to encourage Syrian relations and actually drew the support of Israel. His anti-Semitic reforms began the foundation for renewed ties with Russian Jews who had committed Aliya to Israel. The destruction of the Russian economy and military production capabilities under the Yeltsin administration gave no reason for Assad to like the Russian Federation since they did little for Syria. The slaughter of so many Sunni Muslims in Chechnya did not win any support either. Under the Yeltsin regime, both the Russian and Syrian militaries were left to rot. With the death of Hafez Assad and the removal of Yeltsin from power, a new day for Russia and an uncertain road for Syria began with the arrival of Vladimir Putin.

    When Putin came to power in 1999, Syria owed Russia over $12 billion from the Soviet era. Russia had virtually frozen cooperation over the debt issue, but relaxed their stance when Assad came to Moscow with money in hand. During the years of 2000-2003 there were many visits between foreign ministers from both Syria and Russia. Putin had yet to visit the country but did meet with Syrian Vice President Abdel Halim Khaddam in 2003. Syria boycotted a Middle East peace conference held in Moscow in 2000. In March of 2002, Russia voted for the co-sponsored UN Security Council resolution 1397 calling for a two state solution that recognized Israel. In 2003, Syria and Russia found common ground in opposing the American invasion of Iraq. After the invasion of Iraq, Syria found itself in a precarious position. The Russian daily Kommersant reported that “Although Syria is not a member of the American “axis of evil” and, unlike Iraq and Iran, does not have reserves of oil or other strategic raw materials, it is considered the most likely candidate for the role of the next fall guy.” With the threat of a possible US invasion, Syria was desperate to acquire modern weapons. In 2004 and 2005 there was a media buzz about Syria buying Iskander-E ballistic missiles and S-300PMU2 air defense systems. Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov responded to the accusations “We have no talks with Syria about such missiles. There are no negotiations under way with Syria. We are already used to having such information pop up before visits to Russia by Mid-East leaders.” The World Tribune reported that “Neither Russia's state-owned arms export agency Rosoboronexport nor the Foreign Ministry confirmed plans to sell military systems to Syria. But the ministry said Moscow maintained the right to trade with countries such as Syria, which has not been under United Nations embargo.” In the same interview, Ivanov made special consideration to Israel "In our export policy we give special attention to prevention of sensitive arms getting into the hands of international terrorists, and the Israeli leadership knows this." There were many issues from the time when Putin came to power up until 2005 in which Russia and Syria were not on the same page. The settlement of the debt seemed to be the biggest sticking point in their foreign relations as Syria was not able to acquire the systems in a time facing a possible US invasion. The Russian stance on a two-state solution certainly did not advance relations. The Second Chechen War and the Dagestan War drew relations closer to Israel with intelligence sharing but did nothing to ease the mind of Syria.

    In 2005, Russia decided to write off seventy-three percent of the $14.5 billion dollar debt and to reschedule payment for the rest. With this development, the uncertain relations between the Russian Federation seemed to shore up any doubts of the two’s cooperation. In the same year, the Russian company Tatneft signed a memorandum of understanding to explore Syrian gas and oil fields which Syria desperately needed for its economy. It was the first such agreement in a decade. The engineering and construction company Stroytransgaz entered into the first contracts with the Syrian Gas Company in December 2005. Stroytransgaz has concluded many deals since then and cooperation remains strong. “In December 2005, Stroytransgaz concluded its first contracts with the Syrian Gas Company (SGC) to build oil and gas projects. As early as January 2008, our company completed (ahead of schedule) the 319-kilometer Arab Gas Pipeline. Work on another contract with SGC, concluded in 2005, is currently in full swing: the company is developing three fields in Palmyra, a new Syrian gas production province, and is building a gas processing plant as well as gas pipelines and related infrastructure. In the spring of last year, yet another contract was signed with SGC, this time to construct a gas processing plant, “North Palmyra.” The work is to be completed in mid-2009.” They are also building a $2.7 billion petro-chemical plant and oil refinery in the Syrian province Deir el-Zour. The plants will put over 2000 people to work but most of them will be Russian for the near future. “The Minister said Syria's share of the profits will be 15 % in the first 10 years, 30 % in the next five years, 45 % in the next five years and 60 % in the next five years. The whole project will be transferred to Syria after 25 years of investment.” The terms of the agreement are heavily one-sided and border on the edge of exploitation. Russia employs thousands of workers drawing in most of the profit while Syria gets only a small share. Completion is due in 2010.

    One of Russia’s primary goals with Syria was to forge a profitable relationship in which they could gain a “paying customer.” Syria is not rich in fossil fuels like many of her Arab neighbors so the situation has to have Russian strategic interest in mind. Syria provides a possible solution to one of Russia’s most strategic problems. Russian access to the Mediterranean Sea has been an ongoing problem for centuries. With the annexation of the Crimea in Ukraine, the Russian Empire and the later Soviet Union had a base for the Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol. With the independence of Ukraine, the Russian naval base there has become a hot button issue. There are constant sovereignty issues that the Ukrainian government raises with Russian use of the facilities. The lease for the naval base is set to expire in 2017, but the constant pressure of Ukraine by raising the lease rent and NATO expansion has made that date even less likely. The Syrians have a solution that could work in the Russians favor two-fold. By moving the Black Sea Fleet to Tartus Syria, the Russians could not only get out of Ukraine, but avoid crossing the Dardanelles with Turkey. The Convention of Montreux (1936) governs the access of the Black Sea and is controlled by a NATO member. This is unacceptable to Russia as she would not be able to move her ships during wartime and cannot move capital ships of a certain tonnage which would include aviation and heavy cruisers. If she could base them in Syria, all of these problems could be avoided and the Russians would have unhindered access to the Mediterranean Sea. This would benefit the Syrians as they would get Russian protection of the facilities and their naval forces located in the area. Syria would also benefit by getting aid and weapons in the form of compensation for the lease. In 2006, it was reported in the Russian Daily Kommersant that Russia was dredging the Syrian port of Tartus. This has been the historical location of a maintenance station located there since Soviet times. The report said a source inside the ministry confirmed plans “that Moscow wants to form a squadron of ships led by the missile cruiser Moskva that will be a permanent presence in the Mediterranean Sea and take part in naval antiterrorist exercises with NATO members. Thus the facilities being developed in Syria may be needed for the Black Sea Fleet and the Northern Fleet, if necessary, for reinforcement.” The source also confirmed that Russia would station S-300PMU2 batteries, operated by Russians, to protect the base. These SAMs would also cover a large portion of Syrian air space. At the same time as these negotiations, the two countries agreed on S-125 modernization and were working out a deal on Panstir-S1 SAMs. While the S-125 is an old system, it has proven capable of shooting down an F-117 stealth fighter over the Balkans. The Panstir is considered one of the most advanced short range SAM complexes coming on the market. In October of this year, Bashar al-Assad and the current Russian president Dimitri Medvedev met in Sochi. Assad supported Russian actions in both Abkhazia and South Ossetia. It was reported in the UK Guardian that "Israel and the US supported Georgia against Russia, and Syria thus saw a chance to capitalize on Russian anger by advancing its long-standing relations with Moscow." It was officially announced by Russia in September of 2008 that the port of Tartus would be used as a naval base. The claim that Russian SAMs might be based was bolstered when “Assad made a visit to Moscow last month, and before the trip told the Russian business daily Kommersant that Syria was ready to cooperate with Russia in any way, including discussing deploying missile defense systems on Syrian territory.” This puts credence to the claim that S-300PMU2 batteries would be deployed in the area as an ABM version of the missile exists.

    In the early years of the existence of Israel, The Soviet Union supported the creation under Stalin. Stalin made available weapons the young state needed in order to defend itself with supplies from Czechoslovakia. With his death, the relationship turned from tacit support to aggressive. The Soviets supported the Arabs in every war against Israel and even threatened to intervene in 1973. In 1967, The Soviets moved to support the Arabs calling Zionism a form of racism. The suppression of Judaism in the USSR further strained relations. Under Gorbachev's "New Thinking", the Soviet's hard stance against Jews committed to Aliya was lifted. The lifting of the restriction lead to 800,000 Jews leaving for Israel in the 1990s. Those immigrants would form the basis of Israeli-Russo relations in the years to come.

    The Russian Diaspora in Israel makes up a large segment of the population and is one of the most important swing votes in the country. There is a distinct Russian culture that has taken a life of its own in Israel. They formed a Russian ethnic party called B’aliya under Natan Sharansky in 1996 and won 7 seats in the Knesset. The largest influx of immigrants came in the 1990s and their political leanings are “not yet firmly ideological. It is a floating vote, not linked too closely with any party, which makes them very attractive for all the parties." The Russian-Israelis have their own media outlets, “including four daily newspapers and two radio stations and cultural institutions (such as Gesher, a highly successful Russian theatre group that has taken Israel by storm).” The Russian block has swung some major elections in recent history. In 1996 they elected Netanyahu, Barak in 1999, and Sharon in the special 2001 election. In the 1999 election, both Netanyahu and Sharon went on Russian television and addressed the voters in Israel that watched the Moscow based channel. In the spring of 1999, “With an eye to the Russian vote, Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon traveled to Russia, giving interviews to Russian television stations that are broadcast on cable in Israel. It was probably the first time in Israeli political history that politicians tried to appeal to ethnic voters by returning to their homeland.” Political pandering became so engendered into the campaign that Netanyahu “declared that May 9, the date that Russia celebrates the Allied victory in Europe in World War II, would become an Israeli holiday -- with its own postage stamp. He also announced new benefits for the 40,000 Russian war veterans in Israel.” The major political power Russian Jews carried was noticed by Putin and he took advantage of it. In the November 27, 2000 edition of ITAR-TASS in a general interview on the Middle East, Putin made an overzealous statement for his concern of the Israeli citizenry,

    Vladimir79
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    Re: Russian Foreign Policy in the Middle East

    Post  Vladimir79 on Tue Jul 14, 2009 4:32 pm

    “Millions of people, or nearly one third of the Israeli population, have come from the USSR. We believe that our former citizens form a good reservoir for developing relations with other countries. We cannot be indifferent to their fate, and this is also true of Israel. Many of them have found themselves in the center of the conflict. This arouses Russia's concern and largely explains its interest in the Middle East.”

    This statement of concern may be genuine as Putin has shown willingness to fight against Anti-Semitism and having large influxes of Jews returning to live in the Russian Federation as a result. In the past five years, over 100,000 Jews of the Former Soviet Union have returned to Russia. As Russia’s chief Rabbi stated, “Jews were quitting the country, saying they will never set foot here again, never come back, because they were never given the opportunity to be Jewish and to live a normal kind of life. Today, they're coming back, and they see actually their future here. It says a lot about the changes that have happened in Russia.” The hurdles that once plagued Jews are now gone; the official ban on public worship and discrimination at the workplace and passports no longer designate ethnicity. There is now very little holding Jews back in Russia and the booming economy beckons many to return. NBC interviewed one returning family, “Sofia Savinikh held down jobs in a toilet paper factory and banana laboratory. Evgeniy Savinikh found that every company he worked for seemed to go bankrupt, as Mideast violence took its toll on the Israeli economy. They say they were fortunate not to be “cleaning floors,” Sofia Savinikh says. Many highly educated Soviet Jews who emigrated to Israel only found menial jobs. In the end, the Savinikhs say, Israel never felt like home.” Many Jews returning to Russia keep dual citizenship so ties with the country remain strong. The interconnectedness of Russian Jews to Israel and their importance in elections and bettering life in Russia have brought about relations not seen in recent history.

    The economic ties shared by Israel and Russia far outweigh those shared with Syria. In March of 2006, Israel and Russia singed a major trade agreement. At the time, Israeli exports amounted to $400 million while Russian exports were over $1 billion. In 2007, bilateral trade grew to exceed $2.5 billion. In contrast, Syrian and Russian bilateral trade stood at $630 million in 2007. It is expected to reach $1 billion in 2008. The economic relationship Russia shares with Israel even go into the military realm. India has bought Russian-built Ilyushin Il-76s with Israeli PHALCON AWACs. This is just one example Israel has participated in helping sales of Russian military equipment. Israeli avionics are also installed on Russian-built Su-30MKIs sold to India. Without these upgrades to meet India’s stringent combat capabilities, the deal would not likely go through. Another recent development that defies even Russian military convention is the future purchase of Israeli UAVs. RIA Novosti reported last month that "The General Staff has decided that while we don't have such drones, over the next two to three years, we will buy them from Israel." This is almost unheard for the Russian military industrial complex as the only foreign purchase they have made is Catherine Thermal Imagers from Thales. In another recent development, Russia appears to have exerted some control of Israeli military sales to Georgia. It was reported in the Russian edition of Rosboronexport that Israel was winding down exports to Georgia at the threat of Russian relations. The article states,
    “The decision is due to «the possibility of deteriorating relations with Russia». Specifically, in Israel, is fearful of possible retaliation with supply of modern Russian military systems to Middle Eastern countries hostile to the Jewish state…In recent years, Israel supplied Georgia with UAVs, uniforms, and firearms, as well as a number of Israeli rockets. In addition, in preparing Georgian Special Forces, Israeli trainers departed earlier than planned. Israel had refused to sell a large batch of tanks to Georgia «Merkava» and a number of other systems, and for some time before the conflict in South Ossetia, virtually stopped military cooperation with Tbilisi.”

    This is a major coup for Russian influence over the state of Israel. Another area of Russo-Israeli cooperation is in the field of nanotechnology. Representatives of the Russian State Corporation ROSNANO traveled to Israel in September of 2008 to discuss cooperation in the multi-trillion dollar field of nanotechnology. The Russian representative said “that in recent years the market for nanotechnology in Israel and Russia is developing rapidly, and in the future they will be able to enter as a leader in this field. Together we have just reached a dominant position in the market.”

    Further cooperation between Israel and Russia includes visa-free travel. In 2007, a deal was reached by both their respective houses of parliament doing away with requiring visas for travel in 2008 and on. The Israeli Ministry of Tourism feels that this move will bring an extra 100,000 Russian tourists per year. Despite fears that it would allow Russian criminals into the country, the measure passed. Israeli citizens are free to visit Russia without a visa. Syria does not have such loose travel restrictions for Russian citizens. In March of 2008, Syria and Russia signed an agreement allowing Russian business
    persons to stay in Syria up to 30 days without a visa. Syrian citizens are not allowed in Russia without a visa.


    The dominance of the Russo-Israeli relationship in the Middle East can be seen not only in Syria, but also in Iran. Russia was building a nuclear power-plant, for civilian use, in the Iranian province of Bushehr. In 2005, the Russians said that the plant was 80% complete when it was supposed to come on line in 2005. In March of 2007, a dispute between Russia and Iran came over the construction of the facility and nuclear fuel shipments. "It will be impossible to launch the reactor in September, and there can be no talk about supplying fuel this month," the state-owned Russian contractor Atomsoiexport said. The Iranians said they were making all scheduled payments while the Russians denied it. The plant was originally scheduled to come on line in 2003 but won’t be operational until 2009. The Russians are dragging their feet on purpose is the only conclusion that can be drawn to explain a six year delay. The Russians also refuse to sell Iran S-300 missile defense batteries which they desperately need to defend against an Israeli air strike on the reactor. The only thing Russia has been willing to sell them is the short-range SAM TOR-M1 which is virtually useless against high flying F-16s with JDAMs. Recent reports from Iran suggest that they have been taking delivery of S-300 complexes. Rosboronexport has denied these claims for years and continues to reassure the Israeli government that Iranian claims are “not the reality.” This begs the question why they would do so. It might just be that Russia really is looking out for Israeli security like Putin said.
    Determining whose side Russia is really on is a complicated issue. Russia is playing a strategic game with her interests in mind first and foremost, but it appears Putin is genuinely looking out for Jewish interest in his own country and in Israel. He has taken measures to combat Anti-Semitism which won him the accolades of Sharon who called Putin “a true friend of Israel.” He is forging not only economic but military ties with the country that are playing in favor of both Russian and Israeli strategic interest. Israel cooperated with Russia on Georgia; Russia cooperated with Israel on both Syria and Iran. The 2007 attack on the alleged nuclear reactor in Syria has proven that the bogus reports of Russia delivering advanced long range SAMs were false. Not a single Israeli plane was lost in the raid. Syria keeps begging for Russia to provide S-300 batteries but she refuses to do so keeping the Syrian air defense an ancient relic. The only thing Russia has provided both Iran and Syria for air defense is short-range SAMs which are of no consequence to IDF bombers. The Syrian army did get a shipment of Metis-M and Kornet-E ATGWs in 2002 which made their way to Hezbollah fighters used in the 2006 Lebanon War, but this is not the fault of Russia. The Russian State arms export company Rosboronexport has not sold anything to the Syrian army besides these missiles that could be considered a threat to the IDF. The Syrian air force is in even worse shape flying ancient relics with little support from Russia.

    The real strategic issue facing Israel is the stationing of the Black Sea Fleet in Syria. With S-300PMU2 batteries defending the area as well as the cruiser Moskva’s air defense suite could pose a real threat to any air strike the IDF intends to make on Syria as the engagement range of the missiles cover much of the Syrian air space. An inadvertent strike on the Russian facilities there could prompt a serious backlash in any air campaign and the Russian fleet could easily blockade Israel if it were required. To look on the positive side, the stationing of the Russian fleet in Syria could deter Israeli aggression that it has exhibited in the past. It is most certain that Israel would stay away from any Russian facilities in a potential Syrian-Israeli conflict as the dangers of an attack on Russia is too damaging even for Israel to take. Syria may try to build a nuclear reactor but Russia has shown, through its actions in Iran, that it is not for a nuclear threat facing Israel and would most likely act to prevent it.
    The relationship Russia has with Syria is more of a strategic pawn than of a strategic partner. The stationing of the Black Sea Fleet in Tartus is a need they have but does not translate into an alliance with Syria. Syria does not have money to pay for weapons and economic development it wants from Russia so they have to give them something of value in return which is a lease on the naval base. The Russian position of energy development in Syria is outright exploitative under the terms of the arrangements reached for the $2.7 billion deal reach by Stroytransgaz. The refusal to sell Syria advanced weapons is not a position an ally would take.

    The bonds Putin has formed in his tenure as Russian President with Israel last to this day under the watch of Medvedev. The new Russian president is little more than a seat-warmer while Putin waits to be constitutionally eligible to run for the Russian presidency in the next election. As Prime Minister and the most popular political figure in Russia, Putin still has a large degree of control in Russian foreign policy. It is very likely that Putin will regain the presidency of the Russian Federation and will be in a position to continue his stance on Israel and Syria. The economic, military, and strategic bonds Russia and Israel have formed outweigh those Syria can provide. Russia is a state looking to modernize her military, economy, and forge relations with a Western nation that can aid in that development. Israel is the state that can do that and the large Russian Diaspora provides the political leverage to get it. Syria is a backwater country that has no real military power, industry, or economy to offer as a player on the stage of the Middle East and is only a minor player on the global stage compared to Israel. Russia is fully content to exploit Syria but Israel is treated as a strategic partner and this is how the relationship between the three countries can be defined.

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    Re: Russian Foreign Policy in the Middle East

    Post  Vladislav on Wed Jul 15, 2009 3:23 am

    I like the take of the article that Israel is run by Russian Jews. The evidence is rather clear with us buying UAVs from Israel and having them bow before us withdrawing aid to Georgia that we are important to them to keep us happy. If we sell those S-300s to Iran they will have a real hard time. Laughing

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    Re: Russian Foreign Policy in the Middle East

    Post  Vladimir79 on Thu Jul 16, 2009 7:41 am

    Vladislav wrote:I like the take of the article that Israel is run by Russian Jews. The evidence is rather clear with us buying UAVs from Israel and having them bow before us withdrawing aid to Georgia that we are important to them to keep us happy. If we sell those S-300s to Iran they will have a real hard time. Laughing

    The evidence seems to be pointing in that direction. We lack some of the high technologies they have acquired from Amerika and we want it. We failed to get the most advanced BPLAs from them and settled on 15 year old tech. Irkut is going to exhibit at MAKS-2009 several of their UAV models. I will see if I can't get info from the exhibition about them.

    What I failed to realise before this article is how powerful Russian Jews are in Israel. It gives us major leverage over them but it will never replace the almighty Usreali domination they have as a welfare state. Iran is just another card we are using to get what we want.

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    Re: Russian Foreign Policy in the Middle East

    Post  Vladislav on Thu Jul 16, 2009 8:58 am

    Admin wrote:The evidence seems to be pointing in that direction. We lack some of the high technologies they have acquired from Amerika and we want it. We failed to get the most advanced BPLAs from them and settled on 15 year old tech. Irkut is going to exhibit at MAKS-2009 several of their UAV models. I will see if I can't get info from the exhibition about them.

    That would be great as I want to see what kind of UAVs we really have without Israeli help. I know we are trying to make automatic landing systems.

    What I failed to realise before this article is how powerful Russian Jews are in Israel. It gives us major leverage over them but it will never replace the almighty Usreali domination they have as a welfare state. Iran is just another card we are using to get what we want.

    Russian Jews make up a swing block in their elections. It might be important but what do we get really with US cutting us off everytime we want something sensitive?

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    Re: Russian Foreign Policy in the Middle East

    Post  Turk1 on Thu Jul 16, 2009 10:39 am

    Another good article... it shows Russia only cares about making money money.

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    Re: Russian Foreign Policy in the Middle East

    Post  Vladislav on Mon Jul 20, 2009 10:25 pm

    Turk1 wrote:Another good article... it shows Russia only cares about making money money.

    Whats wrong with making money? The West always wanted us to be greedy capitalists. Shocked

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    Re: Russian Foreign Policy in the Middle East

    Post  sepheronx on Fri Aug 07, 2009 4:58 am

    Relations with Syria will always be Russia's big one over Israel. As long as Israel is supported by the USA, Russia will support Syria. At that, Syria for so long (even to this day), relies on Russia in a lot in terms of imports/exports, so Syria will always be under Russian guidance (same goes for Libya, Yemen, Vietnam, Cuba, etc). But having good relations with Israel will help too, especially in development of high tech (as Russia can get a lot in terms of high tech from Israel, and vice versa).

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    Re: Russian Foreign Policy in the Middle East

    Post  Turk1 on Sat Aug 08, 2009 1:41 pm

    You can keep your relations with Israel. They are a bunch of genociders.

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    Re: Russian Foreign Policy in the Middle East

    Post  Jelena on Mon Aug 10, 2009 8:38 am

    Turk1 wrote:You can keep your relations with Israel. They are a bunch of genociders.

    Turkey has NO moral rights to criticize others.I'll remind of occupation of the Cyprus (military op. 1974.), oppression of Kurd and of course Armenian Holocaust!!!
    What kind of "mind" would seal off whole section of town (Varosha section-Famagusta) like you did on Cyprus?

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    Israel working to thwart Russia arms deal with Syria

    Post  coolieno99 on Sun Aug 29, 2010 11:04 am

    this is not the first time Israel has done this

    Israel is trying to prevent an arms deal between Russia and Syria, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has asked his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, to stop the arms sale involving advanced anti-shipping missiles.

    The deal involves the sale of advanced P-800 Yakhont supersonic cruise missiles to the Syrian military. Israel considers this weaponry capable of posing significant danger to its navy vessels in the Mediterranean Sea. ...

    Israel attempt to stop Russia

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    Re: Russian Foreign Policy in the Middle East

    Post  GarryB on Mon Aug 30, 2010 5:57 am

    Israel considers this weaponry capable of posing significant danger to its navy vessels in the Mediterranean Sea. ...

    An anti ship missile that threatens navy vessels... damn those Ruskies are crafty.

    The Israeli military is capable of posing a significant danger to all the countries surrounding it... wonder if they will dissolve such forces?

    Israel has refused to sell UAVs now, and will probably rearm Georgia soon anyway so Israel has very little leverage over Russia.

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    Russia - Israel relations

    Post  ahmedfire on Wed Feb 29, 2012 8:03 pm



    Document by intelligence company suggests Israel, Russia contracted deal several years ago under which Israel provided Russia with codes for UAVs it sold to Georgia in exchange for Iranian aerial defense system codes

    WikiLeaks has released an email exchange between employees of Stratfor, the US-based global intelligence company, which reveals Israel and Russia made a deal to swap access codes for defense and surveillance equipment.

    According to the leaked document, Israel gave Russia the "data link codes" for unmanned aerial vehicles that the Jewish state sold to Georgia, and in return, Russia gave Israel the codes for Tor-M1 missile defense systems that Russia sold Iran.

    In a document by a Stratfor employee dated February 2009 she says that she had met with a "Mexican source/friend" who told her that Israel and Russia had contracted a deal several years ago as part of which Israel provided Russia with codes of UAVs it had sold to Georgia. In exchange Moscow provided the Israelis with the codes for Iran's Tor-M1 aerial defense systems.

    The document suggests that the deal was signed before the Russia-Georgia war of August 2008 during which Russian forces invaded Georgia. At the time it was reported that Georgia was using Israel-made weapons.

    It can also be understood from the document that the Georgians had at one point realized that their UAVs were compromised and were looking for a replacement for the Israeli made drones.

    The Mexican source also addressed the S-300 aerial defense systems which Israel and the West have spent years trying to dissuade Russia from handing over to Tehran. The source said that Israel and Turkey were collaborating very closely in regards to the system and that since Russia sold them to Greece – Turkey's longtime rival – Ankara has been busy tryinh to crack their codes.

    He added that Ankara shared intelligence with Israel to make sure it has an edge over Iran should it get the systems from Russia.

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4196367,00.html

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    Re: Russian Foreign Policy in the Middle East

    Post  TR1 on Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:26 am

    Having read the leak, I find it dubious, to say the least Smile

    http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/showthread.php?209508-WikiLeaks-Russia-gave-Israel-codes-for-defense-system-sold-to-Iran

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    Re: Russian Foreign Policy in the Middle East

    Post  ahmedfire on Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:14 am


    Yes it's unbelievable for me , russia will not put 12 billion $ exports at stake to just avoid some drones,

    Mig-29 in 2008 go through georgia and destroyed Hermes 450 UAV ,

    but what codes for Tor-m the article Indicates ? did it mean IFF ?

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    Re: Russian Foreign Policy in the Middle East

    Post  GarryB on Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:07 am

    but what codes for Tor-m the article Indicates ? did it mean IFF ?

    I doubt it, as the Iranians would likely change those on a monthly basis like most air forces.

    It might have been a code to connect to the system wirelessly normally used to link the system into the air defence network.


    You need also to keep in mind that Wikileaks is releasing US documents and we know how faulty US intel is... they didn't expect Saddam to invade Kuwaite even though he talked to US officials about it beforehand and he thought they didn't care if he did. Despite several attacks on the WTC they didn't anticipate 11/9... etc etc.

    In many ways this information is opinions and conjecture... in fact likely a window into how the US would react if they were in that situation I suspect.

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    Re: Russian Foreign Policy in the Middle East

    Post  ahmedfire on Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:17 pm


    I doubt it, as the Iranians would likely change those on a monthly basis like most air forces.

    agree

    It might have been a code to connect to the system wirelessly normally used to link the system into the air defence network.

    So if the battery worked seperately not in an network (IADS ), so no problem if israel got those codes coz iran already has no IADS , there the air defence hardware work seperately .


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    Re: Russian Foreign Policy in the Middle East

    Post  GarryB on Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:39 am

    Like any system with connectivity and spread over a large geographic area... to make it easy to add new components to the system you need communications centres and hubs and different methods to connect to the network.

    For instance for some ones home you will have a router to connect to broadband and for a fixed position system like a desktop computer it makes sense to hardwire that computer to the router.

    For other items however like a cellphone or a laptop or a tablet you need to be able to connect wirelessly, which means a wireless router. The problem there of course is that if it has a long range (say 2-3km) then most of your neighbours can connect and use your broadband for free.

    The solution is to encrypt the signal and use a password to control access, so you can use it and so can the people you tell what the password is can too. The other solution of course is to limit the range of the wireless signal to about 30-50m so that your laptop and phone can use it on your property but not 1km away at the nearest shop.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that these reports are US speculation, not actual factual information, and as such is not 100% reliable as a source in this case.

    If it was US sources talking about giving codes for US stuff used by Egypt to Israel then it would be more credible because they are more likely in a position to actually know...

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    Re: Russian Foreign Policy in the Middle East

    Post  ahmedfire on Wed Mar 14, 2012 6:09 pm

    GarryB wrote:Like any system with connectivity and spread over a large geographic area... to make it easy to add new components to the system you need communications centres and hubs and different methods to connect to the network.

    For instance for some ones home you will have a router to connect to broadband and for a fixed position system like a desktop computer it makes sense to hardwire that computer to the router.

    For other items however like a cellphone or a laptop or a tablet you need to be able to connect wirelessly, which means a wireless router. The problem there of course is that if it has a long range (say 2-3km) then most of your neighbours can connect and use your broadband for free.

    The solution is to encrypt the signal and use a password to control access, so you can use it and so can the people you tell what the password is can too. The other solution of course is to limit the range of the wireless signal to about 30-50m so that your laptop and phone can use it on your property but not 1km away at the nearest shop.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that these reports are US speculation, not actual factual information, and as such is not 100% reliable as a source in this case.

    If it was US sources talking about giving codes for US stuff used by Egypt to Israel then it would be more credible because they are more likely in a position to actually know...

    And this what happened with iraqi KARI ,

    Can iran change those codes ?

    most of egyptian AD hardware is eastern , i think we have agood experince in AD field specially engineers and technicans , we downed more than the half of israel airforce in 1973 war .


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    Re: Russian Foreign Policy in the Middle East

    Post  GarryB on Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:01 am

    Can iran change those codes ?

    I would expect by their nature they would want the ability to change the codes themselves... much like they want the ability to process and enrich their own uranium so there are no strings attached to their future use...

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    Russia condemns Israeli air strike on Syria

    Post  Palestinian on Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:55 pm

    Russian foreign ministry says reported attack would violate UN charter and can not be justified

    Russia says it is very concerned about reports of an Israeli air attack inside Syria near Damascus and any such action would amount to unacceptable military interference.

    "If this information is confirmed, then we are dealing with unprovoked attacks on targets on the territory of a sovereign country, which blatantly violates the UN charter and is unacceptable, no matter the motives to justify it," the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

    Syrian state television said that military command had confirmed a "scientific research centre" north-west of Damascus was struck at dawn on Wednesday, causing damage. Two people were killed and five wounded in the attack on the site, it said, which was engaged in "raising the level of resistance and self-defence".

    US officials quoted in the New York Times said they believed the target was a convoy carrying sophisticated anti-aircraft weaponry and Israel had notified Washington of the attack.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jan/31/russia-condemns-israeli-strike-syria

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    Syria-Israel Outflanks

    Post  Julkin on Tue Sep 03, 2013 4:16 pm

    With all of the recent developments in Syria and Russia's blatant denial of any chemical attack having taken place...as well sending in ships to the area...this is a nice mind game for everyone.

    "Let’s pretend that things are upside down – the U.S. is the best friend of Syria and Russia is the “good guy.”

    What would have happened in a situation similar to the one we are witnessing now in Syria?

    So our team of experts sat down and wrote an imaginary script.


    Here it is in a nut shell.

    President Putin is in his dacha and gets the updated details about the chemical massacre in Syria. Ten minutes later Russian navy ships in the Mediterranean get the order to use all they have. Dozens of targets in Syria are hit in minutes.

    President Assad is in his bunker and trying to call Putin. There is no answer.

    Assad calls other Arab leaders, and promises with tears to surrender his huge stockpile of chemical weapons to the U.S.; “come and take it, I don’t need it,” he says.

    (i-HLS – Israel Homeland Security)

    But this is an imaginary script. Putin , the only “world leader,” is a friend of Assad and the U.S. is afraid of its own shadow.

    In Jerusalem the whole structure ,built for years, about how the U.S. will support Israel in times of real danger – collapses.

    The security experts tell the prime minister “we are alone and that changes many parameters.” these two last paragraphs are not part of the imaginary script; they are expressing the feelings in Jerusalem. Prime minister Netanyahu gave his ministers an order to shut up and not express what they think of the way Obama acted. But there are no secrets in Israel, and the words said behind closed doors are very extreme and have a common denominator – a loss of trust in the U.S. as the big ally of Israel.

    (from i-HLS – Israel Homeland Security)

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    Re: Russian Foreign Policy in the Middle East

    Post  Leutenant_LT_Smash on Mon Jan 06, 2014 6:07 am

    Hey I enjoyed reading your article. A little bemused at how it says Syria-Israel Outflanks The Ex-Federation. It is expensensive to upkeep the ex-federation the last I remember hearing about it. Until the news state was formed and it dissolved (Like 1999). Its pretty bad that the Saudis are using oil battles to protect themselves from the U.S. And have found to outcompete the pacemakers in the Soviet Public. The problems have always been bad for dictators. Have seen the movie Uncle Saddam? Please don't riot other UN prophecies from your extreme alleged "hate speeches and anti Islamic hate videos". You should watch the movie Uncle Saddam it shows how much trouble the general Egyptian is in on a daily basis

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    Russian deals with Palestine

    Post  As Sa'iqa on Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:47 pm

    http://news.yahoo.com/abbas-seeks-1-billion-gaza-deal-russia-143355144.html

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