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Andrey Kortunov

Ph.D. in History, Director General of the Russian International Affairs Council, RIAC member

Emily Ferris

Research Fellow in the International Security Studies department at RUSI, specialising in Russia and Eurasia’s foreign policy

A report based on findings from the third round of the UK–Russia Track 1.5 (non-governmental) bilateral security dialogue, which The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) held in collaboration with the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC).

The first year of the project identified several security and geopolitical topics to establish the most productive areas of cooperation between the UK and Russia. The second year built on three of the most fruitful areas from the first round, and this third iteration used those previous discussions as a basis for four workshops on the most pressing security issues: the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty; organised crime and terrorism; the Middle East; and cyber security. 

Certainly, the four roundtables that RUSI and RIAC hosted on these sensitive but salient security issues brought out some contentious views, but also revealed plenty of scope for practical agreement. The UK and Russian participants’ approaches to security questions may not always align but, as the numerous recommendations indicate, there are still many existing formats through which the UK and Russia can engage each other, as well as new ways of conducting information exchanges that may be useful for policymakers. Moreover, despite the UK and Russia’s difficult political relationship, there remains significant value in maintaining an open dialogue channel of this kind, to allow the frank exchange of views and ideas.

A report based on findings from the third round of the UK–Russia Track 1.5 (non-governmental) bilateral security dialogue, which The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) held in collaboration with the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC).

The first year of the project identified several security and geopolitical topics to establish the most productive areas of cooperation between the UK and Russia. The second year built on three of the most fruitful areas from the first round, and this third iteration used those previous discussions as a basis for four workshops on the most pressing security issues: the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty; organised crime and terrorism; the Middle East; and cyber security. 

Certainly, the four roundtables that RUSI and RIAC hosted on these sensitive but salient security issues brought out some contentious views, but also revealed plenty of scope for practical agreement. The UK and Russian participants’ approaches to security questions may not always align but, as the numerous recommendations indicate, there are still many existing formats through which the UK and Russia can engage each other, as well as new ways of conducting information exchanges that may be useful for policymakers. Moreover, despite the UK and Russia’s difficult political relationship, there remains significant value in maintaining an open dialogue channel of this kind, to allow the frank exchange of views and ideas.

UK–Russia Security Relations: Talking To, Not Past Each Other, 1 Mb

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Poll conducted

  1. Korean Peninsula Crisis Has no Military Solution. How Can It Be Solved?
    Demilitarization of the region based on Russia-China "Dual Freeze" proposal  
     36 (35%)
    Restoring multilateral negotiation process without any preliminary conditions  
     27 (26%)
    While the situation benefits Kim Jong-un's and Trump's domestic agenda, there will be no solution  
     22 (21%)
    Armed conflict still cannot be avoided  
     12 (12%)
    Stonger deterrence on behalf of the U.S. through modernization of military infrastructure in the region  
     4 (4%)
    Toughening economic sanctions against North Korea  
     2 (2%)
 
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