However, the Syrian crisis has alarmed Moscow.That last paragraph is especially telling. It doesn't help that we are still "friends" with Saudi Arabia, and it didn't help that the purge of the Iraqi Baathists did not run to its natural conclusion, i.e. until they had been exterminated. Now it looks like the whole area is going to be engaged in civil war until one side wipes out the other. So much for "learning to play nice" with the apostates.
It is every bit as concerned by the rise of the murderous religious radicals of the so-called Islamic State (IS) movement as is the West.
Russia did not respond to the upheavals of the "Arab Spring" with the enthusiasm of many Western governments.
And in retrospect, given that hopes for a democratic surge through the region have collapsed, Russia's hard-headed pragmatism looks to be a little more realistic than much of the West's "aspirational" diplomacy.
18 hours ago