What is Russia’s strategy in the Middle East?

Evgueni Loukianov is Deputy Secretary of the National Security Council of the Russian Federation. He answered to our questions at the occasion of the France-Russia Conference organized by IRIS and Franco-Russian Observatory, the 24th of April in Paris:
- How do you explain Vladimir Putin'ssupport to Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian crisis ?
- What are the causes of the crises stemming from the Arab Spring and how does Russian intend to solve them ?
- During your speech, you mentionned the Christians living in the Middle East and their situation. What is Russia’s position on that issue ?
- What can Russia do practically to protect those people ?