President Vladimir Putin may be hammering out an endgame in Damascus, but Russia has no money to rebuild once the shooting stops, but Beijing does
All signals from the Trump White House indicate that the new US President is seemingly ready and willing to outsource the entire Syrian conflict to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, who will be given a free hand to hammer out an endgame to his liking so long as he eradicates Islamic State (ISIS), empowers Syrian Kurds, and expels Iran and Hizbullah from the Syrian battlefield.
But even if he does, Putin faces one major problem: raising money for the reconstruction of Syria once the guns go silent? The country is in shambles and needs an estimated US$1 trillion to recover and reconstruct – money that he clearly doesn’t have, especially not after his Syrian escapade has cost the Russian Treasury no less than US$3 million daily since 2015.
Oil-rich Gulf countries will not pay for the reconstruction if Bashar al-Assad stays in power, and neither will Iran, which is already struggling economically and warding off a potential standoff with Donald Trump.
China, however, is seemingly both willing and able to pay the lion’s share of reconstruction – if given the proper economic incentives, along with other countries in the BRICS framework, an association of five emerging and powerful economies (Brazil, India, South Africa, and of course, Russia and China).
All are Group of 20 members distinguished by fast-growing industrial economies, representing more than 3.6 billion people – half the world’s population – with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of US$16.6 trillion, equivalent to around 22% of the world’s GDP.
Putin sees them as a gold mine, and hopes to tap into their money during the rebuilding process in Syria, a reward for standing by his side and refusing to part ways with Damascus since the outbreak of the current conflict in 2011…
(Cont) Asia Times