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

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A report based on findings from the third round of the UK–Russia Track 1.5 (non-governmental) bilateral security dialogue, which 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.


Emily Ferris

Senior Research Fellow, Russian and Eurasian Security

International Security

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