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How does Washington see Russia's Gulf security concept?

Washington ignores Moscow's initiative for the Gulf security architecture and there are some good reasons why.

Speaking to an international conference in Sochi last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated Moscow’s July proposed security concept for the Persian Gulf, which he somewhat tepidly described as “still important.” Despite Putin’s effort to remind his audience about the plan, however, the Russian security concept has largely failed to win backing outside Tehran and Damascus and cannot realistically secure US support. Given America’s considerable influence in regional security affairs — even in the more restrained US policy environment since the end of the George W. Bush administration — this is almost certainly a fatal flaw in the Russian plan.

Four years after its military intervention in Syria, Russia is still trying to get America’s attention and to formalize an ongoing role in regional security in the Middle East. Moscow outlined its current proposal in late July, in a document titled “Russia’s security concept for the Gulf area” in its English translation. Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, who is also Russia’s special presidential representative for the Middle East and Africa, presented the plan. Bogdanov has led much of Moscow’s regional diplomacy, though his colleague Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov was the lead negotiator on the ill-fated Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran’s nuclear program.

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