The first under the auspices of the UN Syria peace talks in nearly a year are at risk of getting lost in the order, as officials are obsessed about who will meet with anyone, but behind the scenes diplomats say that it is largely up to Russia to call the tune
Russia and the United States were the main actors in the last peace talks, which halted the war heats up.
With the United States now taking a diplomatic back seat, Russia – whose military intervention turned the tide of the war in Syria and helping President Bashar al-Assad to regain Aleppo – potentially Kingmaker.
Moscow is seeking to revive diplomacy since its air force helped the Syrian army and allied militias to defeat the rebels in Aleppo in December, the biggest victory of Assad in six years of war.
Russia, along with Turkey and Iran to convene within Syrian talks in Astana, Kazakhstan to strengthen the shaky ceasefire and tried to expand its sphere of competence in the political aspects, even making public the proposed Moscow to draft a constitution.
With Astana appeal for a cease-fire, Geneva remains a puzzle and political mandate U.N., to discuss a new constitution, U.N.-supervised elections and transparent and accountable governance.
There is leeway for interpretation, and it remains unclear to what extent Russia is ready to exert pressure on the Syrian government to reach a political agreement with the opposition.
Anyway there is no military solution in Syria.