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    'Britain has little influence in the Karabakh conflict resolution process'  
     Azeri.Today from Birmingham 

      01 Июня 2017 - 17:31 


       Elnur Alakbarov
      European bureau of Azeri.Today

      Azeri.Today interviews Dr.Derek Averre, Reader in Russian Foreign and Security Policy Centre for Russian, European and Eurasian Studies of the University of Birmingham.

      - The early parliamentary elections will be held in Great Britain on June 8 Do you think it is possible that after the election London will change its mind about leaving the EU?

      - No. Only the smaller parties, the Liberal Democrats and Scottish Nationalists, support remaining in the EU, while both Conservative and Labour will negotiate an exit. The best we can hope for is a constructive negotiation between London and Brussels. 

      - Relations between the EU / NATO and Russia today are going through hard times. Can we say that the world is returning to the Cold War today? Will this lead to an armed clash between NATO and Russia?

      - There is no Cold War but Russia has certainly moved away from convergence with Europe and wants to retain its sovereign autonomy in the international system. I believe neither NATO nor Russia wants a major confrontation but there are risks of escalation arising from a military incident where the two sides have troops and materiel.

      - Some Russian experts suggest that after leaving the EU, the UK will decide not to participate in the EU sanctions against Russia. Do you agree with this opinion?

      - There is some pressure from the business community to fins a way out of sanctions but to abandon the European position unilaterally would send a very negative message to Brussels. Also, UK relations with Russia have been poor since the Litvinenko affair. So I don't think the UK would abandon sanctions completely without some decision between the EU and Russia.

      - British businesses and companies are well represented in Azerbaijan. How do you assess the Azerbaijani-British relations?

      - Pragmatic. The UK wants to do business but has to be wary of appearing to be too close to Baku due to European concerns about Azerbaijan's domestic governance. 

      - British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has repeatedly said that London supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of European states. Including, Ukraine. But why do not we see this support of the West in the case of the occupation of Azerbaijani territories (with the support of Russia) by Armenia - Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions? Or is it double standards?

      - The NK conflict is not near the top of the UK's foreign policy agenda. The UK mainly confines itself to support for the work of the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group-led peace process and states that it is primarily for the Armenian and Azerbaijani governments to take ownership of the peace process. London does provide financial support for efforts to bring the sides together but has little influence in the conflict resolution process. 

      Источник: Azeri.Today

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