The Post-Trump US Policy in MENA Region and the Interests of the Russian Federation

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2022-66-1-38-50
The Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), 8, 4th Dobryninskii Per., Moscow, 119049, Russian Federation.
V. Fradkova,
Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO-University), 76, Vernadskogo Prosp., Moscow, 119454, Russian Federation.

Received 26.07.2021.

Abstract. The article explores the emerging contours of the new American policy in the Middle East against the background of unprecedented and confusing domestic political affairs resulting from a highly questioned electoral outcome as well as D. Trump`s complicated “fait accompli” legacy in the Middle East. The first political initiatives of Joe Biden demonstrate that unlike previous transition periods of incorporating Middle East into a revised global American strategy the current moment is fraught with difficulties. The authors examine the key regional priorities and the nature of “recalibration” process to a number of crucial issues in the region. Among them are as follows: the renewal of the Iranian deal, lessening tension in the Gulf, tackling Palestinian problem in the light of D. Trump`s withdrawal from the internationally accepted a “two-state-solution” approach, political settlement in Libya and Syria. The authors draw a conclusion that even though rethinking Middle East role within the US global foreign policy strategy has already started, the process is slow and cautious since the Congressional mood as well as the partisan reaction should be taken into consideration. Chinese containment strategy and counteracting “Russian threat” are the aims topping the political agenda which means a disengagement from a conflict-ridden region, military redeployment and a policy of de-escalation. However, the agenda does not mean a full withdrawal from the region which will remain under the US focus even though it no longer tops the list. In other words, the task is to balance traditional democratic values with American national interest in the region, a balance which has always been hard to strike. Joe Biden`s new Middle Eastern team of professional and experienced policy-makers who as well share deep knowledge of this region aims at shaping a more balanced and a more predictable policy in coordination with its European allies and regional partners. Additionally, the US “recalibration” of the Middle East may open a window of opportunities in bilateral US-Russian ties. Despite conventional “zero-sum-game” thinking the new Biden administration will not be able to ignore the fact that Russian comprehensive involvement in tackling a number of pressing regional issues is absolutely essential in contemporary Middle East politics.

Keywords: Middle East, The USA, Joe Biden, “recalibration”, Russian foreign policy


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For citation:
Aksenenok A., Fradkova V. The Post-Trump US Policy in MENA Region and the Interests of the Russian Federation. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2022, vol. 66, no. 1, pp. 38-50.

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