Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin, two titans of the modern times. When titans clash the spectacle is hard to miss as was the case with the so called Obama ‘death stare’ that has the web buzzing. They came together for a few face to face meetings at the G20 summit in China but just couldn’t come to an agreement about a solution with regards to the civil war in Syria. Moscow and the US take opposing sides in this conflict that had been raging for five years already and saw 300 000 people die and millions of people had to flee for fear of being next.
They discussed the situation at length during closed multilateral assemblies but could not see eye to eye on a way of ending the violence. One thing that they did manage to come to an agreement on is to keep up their negotiations regarding a ceasefire agreement. One of Obama’s senior administration officials said the two worldly powerhouses had a constructive meeting where they discussed the issues openly and bluntly while conducting it in a businesslike manner.
This came just as the Syrian government troops, who are backed by Russia, had the city of Aleppo back under siege. Before the talks collapsed, it looked very possible that there may be an agreement to aid the affected civilians in attempting to get the Russian and Syrian bombardments to stop at least partially on Sunday.
John Kerry (secretary of state) and Sergey Lavrov (Russian foreign minister) have been in the process of brokering a deal that would reduce the violence that has been going on between the government forces of Assad and the rebel forces that the United States are supporting. The agreement strongly depended on the opposing sides agreeing to military management being sharpened in order to clamp down on extremist groups that are operating in Syria.
Obama showed clearly that he was skeptical of the Russians holding to their side of the bargain which saw their talks being surpassed by developments on the ground as the government troops of Syria took an area which lay south of Aleppo and in so doing, they severed the final route that their opposition held that lead into its eastern neighborhoods, according to state media. The situation was thrown back to where Assad was bombing without valid reason which gave bigger cause for Nusra to recruit even more terrorists for their cause and this dynamic is hazardous.
The US is in serious need of discussions with Russia where they can focus on mutual enemies like ISIS but they just can’t seem to get past the gaps in trust that that exist between them. The quicker they can find a solution that will bring Syria some relief, the faster they can start focusing on other issues that affect the Syrians. They also had discussions about the Ukraine and the US will not pull their sanctions against Russia before the Minsk Agreement had been implemented.