President Vladmir Putin continued his forays into the Middle East with a visit to the United Arab Emirates. He previously had visited Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Putin seeks to establish a Russian economic interest in the Middle East which he hopes will become more important than American investments. According to Russian expert, Sarah Mendelson, “Putin is advancing Russian foreign policy that seems to, in some ways, either balance or push back U.S. policies.” Putin is emphasizing to Middle Eastern nations that America under the recently passed Foreign Investment and National Security Act is placing power in the hands of its national intelligence agency to review foreign investments. He hopes nations will prefer dealing with Russia which lacks such supervision over investments.
There is scant doubt Putin is taking advantage of the decline in American influence in the Middle East. Just another legacy of Bush’s Fiasco.