Neither Russia nor the U.S. can be relied upon to stump up what will be a hefty reconstruction bill in Syria, according to the EU's foreign policy chief.
While acknowledging that Russia is a major global player, European Commission Vice-President Federica Mogherini told a panel hosted by CNBC at the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa in Jordan on Saturday that the country was weak economically.
"If you look at the state of the Russian economy today it is difficult to call it a superpower," said Mogherini, who is also the high representative of the Union for foreign affairs and security policy. She noted that its gross domestic product (GDP) was smaller than that of most of the individual European Union member states.
"Russia is investing a lot when it comes to defense and military activities but when it comes to economic power – forget it," she added, drilling home her point that countries closer to the troubles, such as those in Europe and the Middle East, must not underestimate the role they must play in restoring Syria to a functioning state once a political solution has been found.
"My impression is that the new trends in Washington are not exactly those of paying the bill – am I wrong?" she continued, giving another reason for why Syria's closer neighbors must be prepared to step up financially when the time comes.