It is important not to overestimate Russia’s and China’s economic and trade interests in the Arab states as a key determinant of their behavior towards the Arab Spring revolutions. Many analyses have tried to explain China’s and Russia’s actions as purely economically driven. Others have been incomplete or neglected to set these interests in a context that links the strategic motivations of these two important actors with their domestic national interests. The paper reviews four avenues to better understand Russian and Chinese behavior against a backdrop of regional and international crises that have developed in the region—notably the Syrian crisis—and connects these with previous crises, such as the war between Russia and Georgia. Despite the importance of economic motives, the author maintains, other factors need to be explored to better understand Chinese and Russian stances and behavior toward the Arab Spring revolutions.