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Region: Middle East
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On January 15 and 16, 2019, London hosted the third seminar of the third cycle of the Russia-UK bilateral project on security issues. The project has been implemented in partnership with the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI).

The seminar focused on finding ways to develop bilateral relations in the region of the Middle East. The seminar program covered a wide range of issues, including the analysis of geopolitical and geo-economic interests and priorities of Russia and Great Britain in the Middle East, the analysis of the political and military aspects of the conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and the role of Russia in resolving the conflict. Separate sessions of the seminar were devoted to discussing the destabilization of the situation in Libya and possible scenarios for a state run settlement in Syria.

On January 15 and 16, 2019, London hosted the third seminar of the third cycle of the Russia-UK bilateral project on security issues. The project has been implemented in partnership with the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI).

The seminar focused on finding ways to develop bilateral relations in the region of the Middle East. The seminar program covered a wide range of issues, including the analysis of geopolitical and geo-economic interests and priorities of Russia and Great Britain in the Middle East, the analysis of the political and military aspects of the conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and the role of Russia in resolving the conflict. Separate sessions of the seminar were devoted to discussing the destabilization of the situation in Libya and possible scenarios for a state run settlement in Syria.

Both sides agreed that the problems of the Middle East represent a mutually acceptable agenda for the development of bilateral relations in the region and an opportunity to find joint solutions.

During the discussions, the sides determined the common perception of threats and challenges in the Middle East and came to understanding that creating a security system outside the cooperation of the countries of the region and without Russia and the United Kingdom is impossible. They also noted the importance of taking the constantly changing picture of the Middle East and the role of such new independent players in the region as China into account.

Russian delegation was headed by Andrey Kortunov, RIAC Director General. The delegation included: Vitaly Naumkin, RIAC Member, Academic Director of RAS Institute for Oriental Studies; Vasily Kuznetsov, Leading Research Fellow at RAS Institute of Oriental Studies; Andrey Chuprygin and Grigory Lukyanov, Research Fellows and Professors at HSE; Yuri Barmin, RIAC Expert, Tatyana Bogdasarova, RIAC Program Coordinator, Russian-British Project Manager.

Also on January 16, Russian delegation had a meeting with representatives of the Ministry of Defense of Great Britain. Giles Ahern, Foreign and Commonwealth Office Deputy Director, voiced the British position on the Middle East noting that the UK maintains relations with all countries in the region and acts as a global power. At the same time, he noted the fundamental need for interaction with Russia regarding the creation of a security system in the region. General concerns were expressed regarding the escalation of tensions and the possibility of a U.S. military operation in Syria, the need to resist the proliferation and use of chemical weapons, to control the arms trade.

The final seminar in the framework of the Russian-British project will be held in February in Moscow. Following the four seminars, a joint RIAC-RUSI will be issued.

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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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