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University of Birmingham hotspot of Karabakh discussions

University of Birmingham hotspot of Karabakh discussions

The University of Birmingham is an open platform for expression.

The University of Birmingham hosted a round-table discussion on the Nagorno Karabakh conflict Nov 26, followed by a seminar The Challenges and Choices of the South Caucasus: Between Political, Cultural and Economic Priorities hosted by a Russian expert Denis Dvornikov. Later, several Armenian media outlets hurried to slam the event, accusing the organizers of bias. The expert commented on the situation amid the media scandal.

PanARMENIAN.Net - The stir raised by Armenian media surprised and upset me. The very next day I spoke to the participants of the event which was planned as an ordinary academic session, with no major media coverage, political conclusions or statements envisaged. True, an Azeri guest spoke at the event. Everyone I talked to characterized her speech as overly politicized, and I'm not surprised.

The University of Birmingham is an open platform for expression. I was given a chance to present my analysis of the situation in the South Caucasus, the issues ranging from the Eurasian Economic Union to the problem of unrecognized states. The entry, as well as the discussion were free, similar to the Karabakh round-table.

At the University of Birmingham I met a very qualified expert, Kevork Oskanian, so suggestions that the entry for Armenian representatives was restricted were exaggerated. I shared my impressions from a visit to Artsakh, and the photos I made with the event attendees.

Overall, the message of all the statements and remarks was clear enough – the regions needs peace, and escalation of conflict is in no one’s interests.

It would be naïve to assume that the science is immune to financial incentives, at times ill-meant ones. Still, the important thing is that at a well-respected institution like the University of Birmingham any attempt at propaganda looks shameful. So the attempts to buy their way into a science of such scale would be made to the initiator’s detriment, which makes the stir around the issue unreasonable. And anybody displeased with the participants of the round-table discussion, should have been more active in counterbalancing their remarks.

Denis Dvornikov, expert at Russian-Armenian Commonwealth
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