Why Did Russia Stick Up For Syria?

Andrew Sullivan —  Feb 6 2012 @ 11:05am

by Patrick Appel

Over the weekend, China and Russia vetoed a UN Security Council resolution aimed at Syria.  Walter Russell Mead has a theory about Russia's relations with rogue regimes: 

Syria and Iran are among the party of resistance.  Syria may well go down, Iran might. Russia may not be able to prevent that, though it can try. But to let them go down without at least some kind of help would be a grave blunder from the Kremlin point of view.  It would dramatically weaken the forces of resistance around the world — and it would undercut Moscow’s reputation as the friend of the friendless, the people who take your call when nobody else will.  Standing by these guys now sends a message to a lot of other people who worry about the west.  Contracts and other benefits will come Moscow’s way because of this stand.  Count on it. Putin does.

Marc Lynch mourns the resolution:

The veto will diminish the relevance of the United Nations and increase the odds that Syria will descend even further into a civil war fueled by a flood of weapons and aid to all parties.