Russia signals openness to the US, could that change the Middle East?

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Russia is signaling a willingness to open a new page in relations with the US as the new administration settles into power in Washington. TASS state media in Moscow said that Russia’s foreign ministry would respond constructively to US signals. 
“We look upon these relations as those of an equal, mutually respectful and mutually beneficial partnership,” the ministry said. Russia says that it has never refused to cooperate with the US, even in difficult times. However, Moscow is suspicious of the new Biden administration’s support of sanctions on Russia that have been pushed in Europe. Clearly the message from Moscow is that Russia wants to be seen as an equal on the international stage and that there could be movement on some issues. Russia has tried to claw back its historic power that it had during the Cold War, and has spent decades rehabilitating its military and foreign policy influence globally.  
Where could the “bilateral cooperation continue,” as the Russian Foreign Ministry has indicated it might? On Iran, Russia sees US steps so far as pragmatic. The United States’ willingness to return to the original Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, known as the Iran nuclear deal) is a pragmatic and right approach, Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s Permanent Representative to International Organizations, including the IAEA, in Vienna, said in a televised interview on Rossiya-24 news channel on Friday, TASS reported.  
“In this situation, we see that either Tehran or Washington starts saying that the other side must make the first step. It is a road to nowhere. The only way to make progress is to synchronize practical steps so that nobody could assume they have lost face,” he added.   
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The statements seem to indicate an attempt by Moscow to put a positive face on relations and the prospect of change. Moscow has done this before with every US administration. While Vladimir Putin remains in charge in Russia, the US has had several leaders since 2000. Russia sought better relations with the Bush administration and then a “reset” during the Obama administration. It also sought to work with Trump and now is open to Biden.From the US perspective, Russia is accused of meddling in the 2016 election. The US opposes Russia’s role in Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Europe and has stuck by Ukraine in disputes over Russia’s annexation of Crimea. The US also opposes countries like Egypt increasing arms purchases from Russia. 
On the other side of the coin, Russia and the US could discuss the future of Syria. The US backs the Syrian Democratic Forces in eastern Syria. In late February the US carried out airstrikes on Iranian-backed militias in Syria near Albukamal and the Iraqi border. Russia only received a few minutes warning before the strikes, reports say. In the past, the US and Russia have de-conflicted in Russia so that their air forces don’t run into each other. Other recent headlines indicate that both Russia and Turkey want the US to return to the Iran deal. Middle East Eye reports that Russia could be a “broker” between Israel and Syria. Turkey’s TRT suggests that Iran’s disruptive proxies in Syria might lead to Russia’s concerns about Iran’s role in Syria. Iran’s role could undermine Russia’s attempts to stabilize the Syrian regime. Other reports at Al-Monitor note that Iran and Russia compete for influence with private security companies in Syria.  
It’s not clear if the US could move forward on discussions about Syrian stabilization with Russia, that might see Iran’s role eroded. It may be that the US and Russia share interests in reducing Iran’s role in Syria. Israel, Turkey and others on the sidelines also likely want Iran’s role reduced. How that might come about is not yet clear because the US administration has been in close contact with Israel but has done less with Russia or Turkey. It’s not clear what the Biden game plan is for Syria. An Iranian-backed militia attack on US forces at Al-Asad base in Iraq in early March illustrates that pro-Iranian groups will continue to target US forces in Iraq. The US is careful not to blame Iran for the attacks.