Experts: Russia likely to stay course on Assad
Mirsky said that Russia could help negotiate a safe exit for Assad, but would likely be reluctant to offer him asylum, because such a move would deal yet another blow to its ties with Arab countries.
Shumilin suggested that if Moscow were to arrange for the Syrian ruler’s getaway, it would likely offer him passage to some friendly state, like Belarus. ‘‘Moscow may play that card to try to boost its influence,’’ he said.
Analysts said, however, that Syria’s ruling Alawite minority would not allow Assad to leave the country even if he wanted to.
‘‘If they feel that Assad is trying to betray their interests with any hypothetical attempts at compromise, they simply wouldn’t allow him to do that,’’ said Fyodor Lukyanov, the editor of Russia in Global Affairs magazine. ‘‘They have nowhere to go, and they will fight for their lives.’’