Mikhail Baskhanov: London mostly interested in Azerbaijan
Among the South Caucasus countries, the United Kingdom is mostly interested in Azerbaijan in terms of developing economic and political relations, Doctor of History, Member of the UK's Royal Society for Asian Affairs, Mikhail Baskhanov, said, speaking with the correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza.
"Where there are British companies, there are British interests. The interests of the UK in the Caucasus are variable, depending on the country. Since our greatest involvement in Azerbaijan is economic, including in connection with our participation in BP's hydrocarbon projects, Azerbaijan is the most valuable for London. It is a developed and stable country with largest armed forces in the region. Therefore, naturally, the increased attention is paid to Azerbaijan in the UK," he noted.
"Georgia receives attention because it is more vulnerable in the event of a potential conflict with Russia," Mikhail Baskhanov said.
The UK's policy towards Armenia is less pronounced. "The question is whether there is any key interest in which relations are developing. At least, the situation in Armenia is monitored and taken into account, the British leadership is well aware of the state of affairs. The same can be said about the zone of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict on the territory of Azerbaijan," the member of the UK's Royal Society for Asian Affairs stressed.
Speaking about the UK's interaction with a key country in the Caucasus - Russia, the orientalist drew attention to the fact that the reasons for the contradictions between the two countries are at the level of deep differences in mentality. "Now the reason for the critical attitude of the UK toward Russia is not in the framework of some competition with Russia or any attempts to damage the domestic political or economic state of Russia - no, this failure in relations passes through the perception of reality," Mikhail Baskhanov said.
"Russia's values and actions on the international arena are perceived as contradicting the UK's view of democracy, freedom and the norms of civilized relations. Therefore, now there is a historical and cultural conflict between Russia and the UK, and all the rest moments arise out of it," he concluded.