Current tensions in Syria and Iran are putting Russian talks with the US in a difficult position for the US president. The US has been open about military moves into countries that request their help. Even though the majority of US troops are relocating out of the Middle East and places like Syria, there are still countries that are depending on the US for humanitarian help, as well as protection in a limited capacity. This help seems to be putting a bit of a squeeze on the current president. The US stated that Russia is actually helping the Syrian government with its attacks. Moscow has also been blocking action against Damascus, which further strains an already difficult relationship that Obama has with Putin. Putin is a nationalist who regained the presidency last month. Putin and Obama are to meet at the G20 Summit in Mexico next week. This meeting will be the first in three years.
Obama has been working with Dmitry Medvedev to re-establish better relations with Russia. There was even an agreement signed regarding foreign policy, which seems to be a big win for Obama; however, with Syria and Iran issues like missile defense and human rights, it seems that Putin may be extremely against Westerners, meaning the US.
There are some things that will determine how the talks go, such as how Obama and Putin talk about Syria, not only in public but when they are behind closed doors. These critical talks may determine if Russia will be willing to work with the US or not. The uprisings in Syria that have continued to increase might also determine what happens next week. UN delegates went to Syria with military moving with them for protection. The idea was to observe what was happening in Syria and whether help from outside forces would be needed. Israel has also been inciting issues with talking about launching attacks on Iran, which the US has stated it will support with relocating troops if necessary.
All of this means that Obama could antagonize Russia if he pushes for the wrong move, like getting Bashar al-Assad out of office. He has been a president who has ties with Russia in terms of being an arms customer and ally. Hillary Clinton has helped in the talks with Russia of late, but she has voiced concern over Moscow’s moves inciting conflict.
One thing is certain when looking at the upcoming talks. Experts all agree that Putin will not be very keen to compromise with the US. Chances are that even if Obama keeps his talks low key, Putin will try to incite the talks; he tends to be heavy with US criticism. Once the talks begin, the suppositions made now will be determined as to what was true and what was not. Given Russia’s power, it could be important not to antagonize Putin.