In spite of harsh language out of the Kremlin, condemning the U.S. missile strike on Syria, recent events are not likely to worsen relations between Moscow and Washington. 

Virginia Tech professor Besnik Pula says Russian condemnation of the strikes is credible neither as a statement of principle nor as a threat.

“It is issued by a government that stands beside a regime that violated international law by using chemical agents against its population, not to mention that Russia only recently invaded and annexed part of a neighboring country's territory,” said Pula. 


  • “I believe Moscow sees this as an opportunity to open up a broader diplomatic dialogue with the U.S. on a number of issues, including Syria, Ukraine, and Western sanctions against Russia, among others.”
  • “My view is that leaders in the Kremlin are still hopeful that President Trump is interested in striking such a grand bargain and will engage in spite of the harsh language employed to denounce the U.S. strike in Syria.
  • “I see Moscow's goal as wanting to raise the stakes for future U.S. involvement in Syria as a means of defending Russia’s own position in Syria as Bashar al-Assad’s chief ally.”


Professor Pula’s research expertise lie in the comparative political economy of developing countries, post-communist transformations, and the social and institutional impacts of globalization. His current interests include issues of European integration and what those processes have meant for both regional economies in Europe as well as the global political economy more generally.

More information on Besnik Pula

To secure a live or recorded video interview with Besnik Pula from the Virginia Tech campus, contact Bill Foy at 540-998-0288 or 540-231-8719. 

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