Russia - UK: big game is on

Russia - UK: big game is on

In the early autumn of last year the Russiaт President Vladimir Putin at a meeting with the UK Prime Minister Theresa May, which was held on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hangzhou, China, expressed hope that they will be able to improve the bilateral relations between the two countries both in the political and economic sphere. As expected, this process was not easy.

In order to understand why the relations between Russia and the UK have been accompanied with ups and down, and they have more ups than downs, it is necessary to recall the history, the Director of the RAS Institute of Europe, the RAS corresponding member, member of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) Alexei Gromyko said. "These countries are the former empires, one of the most powerful empires in the history of the European civilization. The constant state of balancing between competition and cooperation is characteristic of all our history... But today, this format of relations is becoming increasingly full of risks, which we need to stop and move on to a more serious and adult view on the cooperation between our countries," Gromyko believes.

In his opinion, Russia and the UK have always had a special attitude to the project of European integration: "These countries sought to realize its own, independent view of their role in the world in their foreign policies. It is the matter for the future - whether Brexit would lead to a deterioration or improvement in the geopolitical role of Britain. But one of the reasons for Brexit was the desire of this country to become a more independent player in the international arena... Russia, like Britain, is facing a strategic dilemma, whether it should try to be a global and autonomous power, or to be woven into the fabric of integration associations, using integration processes to strengthen its role in the world... Russia and the United Kingdom belong to the category of countries that see themselves as autonomous centers of power, gravitating to one or another geopolitical projects".

At the presentation of the joint report of the RIAC and the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI) on security issues, the Deputy Director General and Scientific Director of RUSI, Malcolm Chalmers, expressed the opinion that this study enables the Russian Federation and the Great Britain to communicate at an expert level: "We must seek ways to improve relations Between the West and Russia ... It is necessary to conduct a multilateral dialogue on European security, make it more effective. One of the obvious moments is the need to develop a dialogue between NATO members and Russia in order to avoid misunderstandings taking roots in the cold war. Therefore, there are problems because of the wider deployment of the military forces of Great Britain, France, Germany and the US in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. NATO expansion to the East requires a dialogue with Russia. It is impossible to avoid a conversation about arms control, they need to understand all the risks that exist in connection with the development of weapons of various countries, including the United States and Russia."

According to the British expert, cyber threats, the Iranian nuclear agreement, as well as Afghanistan and Syria are important problems. "The future of Syria largely depends on such major external powers, as the US, the UK, Russia, as well as from regional powers - Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia. It is necessary to find an opportunity to improve the atmosphere in the region. The solution of the Syrian issue is impossible without a clear position of the US and Russia," Malcolm Chalmers believes.

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