BBC Newshour Extra: panel discussion on Russo-West relations
Earlier this week, I participated in a panel discussion on the Russo-West relationship, organised by the BBC World Service. It took place on the side-lines of the Conservative Party Conference, and my fellow panellists included BBC’s Olexiy Solohubenko and Bridget Kendall, Dr Liam Fox MP, Daniel Kawczynski MP, and James Coomarasamy (moderator).
The discussion focussed on the status and future of relations between Russia and the West, in the context of the current political and geopolitical climate. Panellists and members of the audience expressed a wide range of views, with some advocating tougher sanctions against Russia and others increased dialogue. I was pleasantly surprised to hear that several audience members and panellist Daniel Kawczynski MP expressed their desire for greater engagement and cooperation between Russia and the West, rather than punitive actions.
It is important to differentiate between politics and business. Historical ties and achievements matter, and we need to reach beyond the immediate political division. Russia and the UK have had strong economic, social and cultural links which run far deeper than any momentary strain in the relationship. As it stands, the business community should lead the way and ensure that economic cooperation between Russia and the UK continues.
The panel discussion airs on BBC Newshour Extra on 9th October and can be listened to online here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0343hjp.