Is Moscow Serious About Inviting Syria’s Kurds to Dialogue with Damascus?

Jwan Dibo
Jwan Dibo

On the 2nd of July, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called, during a press conference in Moscow with his Bahraini counterpart, the Kurds in Syria to show interest in dialogue with al-Assad government and not to adopt separatist tendencies. 

The key points included in Lavrov’s answer to a question regarding the future of the relationship between the Kurds and Assad regime were as follows. First, Lavrov implicitly accused the Kurds of embracing separatist inclinations at the behest of Washington. Second, he referred to the subordination of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to Washington. Third, he pointed out that the Kurdish political and military forces are not serious about engaging in a dialogue with al-Assad regime.

Lavrov’s words revealed the truth of the Russian position on the Kurdish issue in Syria, as well as on the solution of political transition in Damascus. These two issues are intertwined with each other and cannot be separated. The link between the two questions is the issue of democracy, pluralism, the new constitution, and the rule of law. In other words, the linkage between the two topics is the future and form of the political system in Syria, which, according to Moscow’s visions, will be nothing but the rehabilitation of the Assad regime.

The Russian view on the Kurdish issue in Syria is not fundamentally different from the view of the Assad regime. The essence of the Russian stance is that the Kurds must acquiesce unconditionally to Assad’s dictates. Lavrov also accused the Kurds of being linked to US agendas and plans as a repetition of the Assad regime’s propaganda. Lavrov’s statements made it clear that Moscow, like the Assad regime, has no intention of giving an ethnic or geopolitical character to the Kurdish issue in Syria. Instead, it believes that this problem can be resolved within the framework of some superficial and partial administrative and constitutional reforms.

Lavrov’s announcement came in the wake of the recent summit between the Russian and American presidents in Geneva. That summit, which seems to have not reached any conclusion regarding the intractable Syrian catastrophe. Lavrov’s stance also came after the meeting between the US and Turkish presidents in Brussels last month, which also seems to have failed to achieve any rapprochement on the thorny Syrian predicament. This explains Moscow’s attempt to play the Kurdish card again, in a way that confuses US and Turkish policies in Syria.

Russia aims to negatively influence Washington’s agenda in Syria by persuading the Kurds that dialogue with al-Assad regime is better for the Kurds than relying on Washington, which may withdraw from Syria at any moment. Throughout the Syrian crisis, Russia has always irritated Turkey with the Kurdish card in Syria, especially when relations between them were deteriorating. On the other hand, Russia has always blackmailed and frightened the Syrian Kurds by inciting Turkey against them.

Moscow is not serious about the talks between the Kurds and the Syrian regime. The reason is that Moscow does not have a clear vision regarding the solution of the Kurdish issue in Syria. It, also, does not have an intention or plan to solve the dilemma of political solution in Syria in accordance with Security Council Resolution No. 2254. Russia seeks only to use the Kurdish card in Syria by disturbing other players involved in the Syrian stalemate to serve its own policies based on power and hegemony. levant

by: Jwan Dibo levant

Jwan Dibo