Syrian foreign minister announced that announced today that it is formally breaking all ties with Ukraine. There has been a recent worsening of the ties between Syria and Ukraine due to several factors. Syria claims that it has taken this step in response to Ukraine’s similar move. The analyst considers Syria having good relations with Russia to be the reason behind this.
According to the principle of reciprocity, the Syrian Arab Republic has decided to sever diplomatic ties with Ukraine, according to a statement released by the Syrian foreign ministry on Wednesday.
The Donbas region, at the core of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that began on February 24, is home to the breakaway nations of Donetsk and Lugansk, whose independence Moscow recognized in February.
Last month, Damascus declared that it would recognize the independence of Ukraine’s Russia-backed eastern Luhansk and Donetsk regions. The Syrian government was the first country after Russia to recognize the independence of the two conflicting regions, a step in contrast to the international community. The step further deteriorated the relations between Syria and Kyiv, leading to Ukraine breaking all ties with Syria first.
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At the time, Zelenskyy declared that contact between Ukraine and Syria would end.
According to the Syrian foreign ministry, Ukraine’s unwillingness to revalidate the residence permits of its diplomatic staff members in Kyiv caused the first rift in relations in 2018 and prevented them from doing their jobs.
The Syrian embassy had, it said, ceased operations at the time “as a result of the hostile attitudes of the Ukrainian government.”
Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad visited Tehran to meet his Iranian counterpart and to discuss the Syrian issues at length. The meeting took place after the trilateral talks between Turkey, Iran, and Russia’s leaders happened at a summit in Iran’s capital. On his second trip abroad since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the Syrian situation with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during his second trip abroad.
After giving up on its failed effort to storm the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv two months prior, Russia declared that seizing the whole of the Donbas was its primary goal. Since 2014, Russian-backed rebels have been fighting Ukrainian government forces in the Donbas; recently, the area has taken ownership of the Russian attack.
Since Russia intervened in the civil conflict in Syria to help shift the balance of power in favor of President Bashar al-Assad, relations between the two countries have improved. Since then, the Bashar Al Assad government supported Russia in many instances, like in 2018 when it took the Russian side to acknowledge Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, two Russian-backed breakaway republics that the world recognizes as being a part of Georgia.
Russia’s involvement in Syria was basically because of the reason that the only alternative political-military group whose involvement in government would have been acceptable to the West was the moderate opposition, which was the principal challenge to Assad’s legitimacy and was substantially eliminated and marginalized by Russia over five years.
Russia’s dominant position in Syria also allowed its influence beyond Syria’s borders. Following a rift in the relationship brought on by Turkish soldiers shooting down a Russian fighter jet in 2015, it forced Turkey to reunite. The 2016 failed coup attempt against Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s administration speed up the procedure.