Russian expansion in Middle East a ‘clear reality’: WEF’s Borge Brende

World Economic Forum (WEF) President Borge Brende spoke to CNBC on Sunday, discussing his take on the evolving geopolitical landscape from the Middle East.

of which’s no news of which Russian presence from the region has grown. American withdrawal in addition to also disengagement via several of the region’s hotspots has coincided with an apparent shift eastward, Brende said, inviting Moscow to exert its influence over of which of the U.S.

“I think there can be a clear reality on the ground of which we see more of a Russian footprint in of which region,” Brende told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble during the WEF on the Middle East in addition to also Africa in Amman, Jordan.

The Norwegian politician in addition to also diplomat, who served as foreign affairs minister before taking up the WEF presidency, pointed to some clear areas where Russia’s foreign policy objectives have defined the trajectory of conflicts. of which has been the case particularly in Syria, where Russian troops have supported Syrian leader Bashar Assad since 2015, enabling him to survive in addition to also essentially win of which country’s eight-year-long civil war.

“Of course in Syria, Russia at of which point plays an important role, we also see of which there can be a lot of interaction between President Putin in addition to also Prime Minister Netanyahu (of Israel),” Brende said.

although different examples relating to trade in addition to also investment are clear indicators of increased Russian clout, he added. “We also see of which the Gulf countries are discussing very much with Russia when of which comes to the oil cost, because Russia can be the largest oil producer from the entire world, even larger than Saudi.”

Russia’s alliance with OPEC’s largest oil producer Saudi Arabia in addition to also agreements for continued cooperation in energy, trade in addition to also investment have enabled closer ties between the two, in addition to also its sales of weapons systems like the S-400 missile defense system, which can be at of which point driving a wedge between NATO allies the U.S. in addition to also Turkey, can be not lost on Washington.

Moscow has signed technical agreements in addition to also memoranda of understanding to sell the S-400 — which can be a cheaper, in addition to also according to some analysts more effective edition of the U.S. Patriot missile defense system — in addition to also different weapons to Saudi Arabia, Turkey in addition to also Qatar.

in addition to also hundreds of Russian mercenaries allegedly linked to the Kremlin have been supporting the rebel leader of Libya’s breakaway eastern half, General Khalifa Haftar, whose forces are at of which point advancing on the capital Tripoli. Russia also maintains close ties to Israel in addition to also Iran.