Inside Story

Is Russia’s call for elections in Syria realistic?

Kremlin wants President Assad to be ready to hold parliamentary and presidential elections.

Bashar al-Assad has told Russian politicians that he’s ready to hold elections if Syrians are not against it.

The Syrian president’s comments followed a call by Russia’s foreign minister for what he called fresh presidential and parliamentary elections. 

It all comes as international efforts to reach a political settlement stalled of the future of Assad. Saudi Arabia and other countries insist on Assad’s departure, while Moscow says that should be decided by Syrians, not external players.

So, what difference would Russia’s call make? Isn’t it premature? Is it even realistic?
Presenter: Hazem Sika
Jean-Marc Rickli – Associate Professor at the Department of Defense studies, King’s College London. Jean- Marc is also a Gulf security specialist. 
Khaled Batarfi – Senior Columnist for Saudi Gazette.
Alexander Konovalov – President of the Institute for Strategic Assessments and former director of the center for military policy.