The Russian Connection Between Syria and Ukraine - Harvard - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
'For the last fifty-two years, leaders from around the world have gathered in Munichfor an annual review of world security problems. This year's discussion focused on the civil war in Syria. Not only is Syria a political and humanitarian crisis in the Middle East, but the refugee flows from that war are causing a political crisis in Europe. Some observers foresee the unraveling of the Schengen zone for free movement of peoples that has become a major accomplishment of European unity. In contrast, last year the focus in Munich was on Russian aggression against Ukraine. Ironically, it was easier to garner a consensus about a Western response to that threat. Behind both topics, however, lies the question of what Russia wants. At the same Munich Security Conference in 2007, Vladimir Putin had warned of a more assertive Russian policy against the West.