Western peacemakers see Russia’s President Vladimir Putin as potentially pivotal in quelling the violence in Syria after he condemned the house-to-house massacres in Houla and announced he wants to help the UN achieve positive results to prevent all-out civil war. But Mr Putin maintains a stance which leans towards Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad. This report considers what is stopping Mr Putin siding with the West and many Arab nations in taking more vigourous steps to bring about peace?

RUSSIA’S president Vladimir Putin has emerged a possible game changer in efforts by Western and Arab nations to quell 15 months of violence in Syria and force its president, Bashar al-Assad, to ste...

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Professor Stefan Hedlund
Russia's role is crucial to any solution and to the success of UN envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan - EU's foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton
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