Russia as a Gravity Pole of the GCC's New Foreign Policy Pragmatism
Despite the obvious differences over the Syrian crisis and Iran, the GCC countries do not seem to be distancing themselves from Russia politically. To a large extent that is due to Russia’s growing military role (in Syria) and military cooperation (with Iran), as well as the diminishing role of the United States under Obama. Having accepted the situation in Syria (after the fall of Aleppo) as a fait accompli, the GCC’s elites seem to be looking at Russia as a powerful player able to reduce the scope of Iran’s expansion in the region. Their approach involves a carefully established mechanism of economic interaction exploiting Russia’s need for GCC finances and arms acquisitions.
Keywords: GCC, Middle East, foreign policy, pragmatism, Russia, Syria