Russia’s activities in Syria contributed to the rise in oil prices and gave Russia a strong advantage. Vladimir Putin knows that those who control the “oil tap” also have the last word in geopolitical issues.
Unlike the US, Russia has made not only military, but also clever geopolitical moves. Russia has long been a partner of Syria which is an important bridgehead to the Middle East, particularly regarding the transport routes for raw materials. The US wanted to cut Russians off and expand its influence in the region, but Russia’s military operation in Syria caught the Americans off guard.
If Putin wins the battle, he has at least a fair chance that Russia would be taken seriously as a world power.
The new shock in oil prices would be extremely dangerous for Russia. Energy is the foundation of its economy, its government and political system. Russian President Vladimir Putin has often stressed the importance of mineral resources for the preservation of Russia’s economic growth and industrial development to catch up with more developed economies. The US sanctions against Russia have also increased the pressure.
The start of the military operation in Syria contributed to an increase in oil prices and gave Russia a chance to restore its position as a global power. Putin’s alliances with Iraq, Iran and especially with China are evidence of a certain foresight. Having these states as partners, Russia can play a leading role in the Middle East.
Russia may also succeed in splitting the OPEC into two blocks and isolate Saudi Arabia. If the plan works, OPEC would be facto divided and Russia would be able to gain access to oil prices.