Putin seeks Israel's help in easing U.S. sanctions on Syria




  • In World
  • 2021-10-27 15:49:49Z
  • By Axios
 

Russian President Vladimir Putin asked Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to encourage the Biden administration to ease some of its sanctions on Syria in order to allow Russian companies to take part in the reconstruction of the country, Israeli officials briefed on the talks tell me.

The big picture: The U.S. Caesar Act, which was signed into law by President Trump in Dec. 2019, imposed sanctions on several sectors of the Syrian economy, including energy and infrastructure. The law is the main deterrent for foreign companies interested in getting involved in the Syria reconstruction effort.

Get market news worthy of your time with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free.

Behind the scenes, Israeli officials say Putin wants Russian companies to get most of the big reconstruction projects in Syria, to boost both revenues and Russian influence in the Syrian economy.

  • Putin told Bennett during their meeting in Sochi last Friday that some Russian companies are afraid to do business in Syria because they don't want to be hit by U.S. sanctions.

  • The Russians argue that this opens the way for Iranian companies that are already under U.S. sanctions to get those major projects, thereby increasing the Iranian influence in Syria, Israeli officials say.

  • The Israeli Prime Minister's office declined to comment.

Between the lines: The Russians seem to hope that the Israeli interest in weakening Iran's hold in Syria will encourage Bennett's government to push the Biden administration to ease the sanctions.

State of play: Several Arab countries have recently moved to normalize relations with Bashar al-Assad's regime in Syria.

  • In recent weeks, Assad has spoken with the leaders of Jordan, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

  • The Russians are encouraging this trend, while the U.S. says it opposes such normalization with Assad or moving ahead with the reconstruction of the country.

What's next: The Russians want to hold a trilateral meeting of the national security advisers of Russia, Israel and the U.S. to discuss the way forward in Syria.

  • Israeli officials say they are discussing this idea with both sides but no date has been set.

COMMENTS

More Related News

Column: Biden wants to focus on China. Putin has another idea
Column: Biden wants to focus on China. Putin has another idea

The biggest foreign policy challenge for President Biden is coming not from Asia, but from a more traditional nemesis, Russia's Vladimir Putin.

Israel to ban entry of foreigners from all countries over Omicron
Israel to ban entry of foreigners from all countries over Omicron

JERUSALEM (Reuters) -Israel on Saturday said it would ban the entry of all foreigners into the country, making it the first country to shut its borders...

Republicans struggle to save funding for Trump
Republicans struggle to save funding for Trump's border wall

Senate Republicans are struggling to save funding for construction of former President Trump's long-sought wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, as Democrats press...

The Hall case in the Poconos and malice in the US | Moving Mountains
The Hall case in the Poconos and malice in the US | Moving Mountains
  • US
  • 2021-11-27 10:00:25Z

Kenosha and Brunswick are hundreds of miles away from the Poconos. They have one thing in common with us: Americans are killing Americans.

AP PHOTOS: Town in Syria
AP PHOTOS: Town in Syria's Idlib province transformed by war
  • World
  • 2021-11-27 08:10:24Z

In the opposition-held town of Sarmada near the border with Turkey, thousands of displaced Syrians go about their daily lives with little hope of returning...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: World