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Simon Saradzhyan

Simon Saradzhyan

Director, Russia Matters Project; Assistant Director, U.S.-Russia Initiative to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Contact:
Telephone: 617-496-8228
Fax: 617-496-0606
Email: simon_saradzhyan@hks.harvard.edu

 

 

By Date

 

2016 (continued)

Office of the President of Russia

March 16, 2016

"What Russia won in Syria"

Op-Ed, The Boston Globe

By Simon Saradzhyan, Director, Russia Matters Project; Assistant Director, U.S.-Russia Initiative to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Vladimir Putin’s Tuesday decision to scale down the Russian military campaign in Syria seems to have caught world leaders off their guard. But is the Russian leader’s declaration of mission accomplished really that surprising? A brief look at the list of Russia’s stated short-term objectives in Syria, which I formulated shortly after beginning of Russian air campaign, shows that Putin has attained all that he wanted — and made significant progress toward his longer-term objectives as well. Did the Russian air strikes prevent Bashir Assad’s government from losing control over the remaining part of Syria and enable his forces to eliminate most immediate threats to their positions, making frontlines more defensible?

 

 

March 9, 2016

The U.S.-Russia Initiative to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism Newsletter: December 2015 - February 2016

Newsletter

By Simon Saradzhyan, Director, Russia Matters Project; Assistant Director, U.S.-Russia Initiative to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Members of the U.S.-Russia Initiative to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism weigh in on the Nuclear Security Summit, which will take place in Washington DC on March 31-April 1 and assess North Korea’s claim that it has tested a miniaturized hydrogen bomb; Belfer Center experts issue a report for the upcoming nuclear summit and visit Russia to discuss U.S.-Russian cooperation in the field of nuclear security.

 

 

www.flickr.com

February 24, 2016

"Ukraine's Lost Cause"

Op-Ed, Foreign Affairs

By Simon Saradzhyan, Director, Russia Matters Project; Assistant Director, U.S.-Russia Initiative to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

The second anniversary of Ukraine’s Euromaidan is a time for reflection about whether ordinary Ukrainians improved their lot by throwing out President Viktor Yanukovych. For observers at the time, the answer was a resounding yes. Yanukovych, the thinking went, was as corrupt as they come. Sympathizers hoped that by removing him from power and electing Petro Poroshenko instead, Ukrainians would open the way for a transparent and honest democratic government ready to improve ordinary people’s lives.

 

 

November 16, 2015

Russia’s Actions in Syria: Underlying Interests and Policy Objectives

Presentation

By Simon Saradzhyan, Director, Russia Matters Project; Assistant Director, U.S.-Russia Initiative to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Russia’s national interests in Syria do not hinge on continuation of Bashir al-Assad’s rule. Therefore, Vladimir Putin could be prepared let Assad go as long as Russia has a say in transition to the new government in Syria and that government agrees to honor Russia’s national interests at stake.

 

2015

December 1, 2015

The U.S.-Russia Initiative to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism Newsletter: October-November 2015

Newsletter

By Simon Saradzhyan, Director, Russia Matters Project; Assistant Director, U.S.-Russia Initiative to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Members of the Initiative weigh in on prospects of international counter-terrorism cooperation in Syria and elsewhere; Belfer Center experts continue to assess implication of Iran’s nuclear programl; Elbe Group meets 7th time to discuss countering nuclear terrorism, other issues on bilateral agenda, and more.

 

 

Alexei Druzhinin, RIA-Novosti, Kremlin Pool

November 11, 2015

Putin Should Make Assad an Offer He Can’t Refuse

Op-Ed, Financial Times

By Simon Saradzhyan, Director, Russia Matters Project; Assistant Director, U.S.-Russia Initiative to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

To hear some Russia watchers say it, Vladimir Putin will fight to the last Russian air bomb to keep Bashar al-Assad of Syria in power. But will he?

I argue not only that Putin could and should let Assad go, but also that Putin’s own record of behind-the-door diplomacy offers a clue as to how the Syrian dictator could step aside without losing face.

 

 

commons.wikimedia.org

October 21, 2015

"Russia’s Interest in Syria is Not Assad"

Op-Ed, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

By Simon Saradzhyan, Director, Russia Matters Project; Assistant Director, U.S.-Russia Initiative to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

When trying to underscore the difficulty of predicting the Kremlin’s next steps, many Westerners like to cite Winston Churchill’s famous reference to Russia as “riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.” Few however, recall the remainder of that 1939 adage: “But perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest.”

 

 

October 15, 2015

The U.S.-Russia Initiative to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism Newsletter: July-October 2015

Newsletter

By Simon Saradzhyan, Director, Russia Matters Project; Assistant Director, U.S.-Russia Initiative to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Belfer Center Experts Call for U.S.-Russian Cooperation against ISIS and Assess Iran deal; Graham Allison Briefs National Security Fellows on Threat of Nuclear Terrorism; Moldovan Authorities and FBI Have Interrupted Four Nuclear Smuggling Attempts; Last HEU Removed From Uzbekistan; and Russia Conducts a Nuclear Terrorism Exercise.

 

 

September 30, 2015

"U.S. and Russia Share a Vital Interest in Countering Terrorism"

Testimony

By Simon Saradzhyan, Director, Russia Matters Project; Assistant Director, U.S.-Russia Initiative to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Simon Saradzhyan testified before the U.S. House of Representatives' Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats Subcommittee Hearing on "The Threat of Islamist Extremism in Russia," on September 30, 2015. 

In his testimony, Saradzhyan asked: "Can the United States and Russia cooperate against the threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and other international terrorist organizations, even though the bilateral relationship has deteriorated in the wake of the crisis in Ukraine? My answer is they can and they will if they act in their best interest."

 

 

August 10, 2015

"Putin’s Change of Heart on Assad Could Pave Way for Cooperation against ISIL"

Op-Ed, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

By Simon Saradzhyan, Director, Russia Matters Project; Assistant Director, U.S.-Russia Initiative to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

There have emerged multiple signs this summer that Russia’s Vladimir Putin may be reconsidering expediency of continued support for Syria’s Bashir Al-Assad. If these signs do reflect a shift in the Russian leader’s position on Syria, then it would enhance chances of finding a compromise solution on transition of power in Damascus in what would strengthen multilateral efforts to stabilize this country and rout the Islamic State.There have emerged multiple signs this summer that Russia’s Vladimir Putin may be reconsidering expediency of continued support for Syria’s Bashir Al-Assad. If these signs do reflect a shift in the Russian leader’s position on Syria, then it would enhance chances of finding a compromise solution on transition of power in Damascus in what would strengthen multilateral efforts to stabilize this country and rout the Islamic State.

 
Events Calendar

We host a busy schedule of events throughout the fall, winter and spring. Past guests include: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former Vice President Al Gore, and former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev.