Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov has called for the resumption of bilateral cooperation between Russia and the U.S. on counterterrorism, saying he intends to discuss it with his American colleagues.
In an interview published in the July 27 edition of Kommersant, Syromolotov said it is important to "think about resuming direct bilateral cooperation on counterterrorism in the current format of the Russian-U.S. working group."
"I set myself a task to speak about this with the Americans," Syromolotov said.
At the same time, he emphasized that the problems in relations between Russia and the U.S. interfere with the international fight against terrorism.
"The current problems in Russian-U.S. bilateral relations obviously interfere with international efforts in the sphere of counterterrorism," he said.
He said that "unilateral, politically motivated 'freezing' of the work of the working group on counterterrorism does not promote the development of anti-terrorist cooperation between our countries."
At the same time, the deputy foreign minister pointed out the importance of the joint international fight against Islamic State.
"Russia firmly believes that the global terrorist threat, including that created by Islamic State, should be fought together, without politicizing and 'double standards,' on the basis of international law and with the central coordinating role of the UN. The West and the U.S. apparently have a problem with this approach," he said.
At the same time, Syromolotov expressed his satisfaction with the continuing stable dialogue between Russia and the U.S. on issues relating to money laundering and the financing of terrorism, both in the FATF and in the bilateral format.
"Constructive practical interaction with the U.S. continues on some relevant regional platforms. Calm and focused work free from inappropriate politicization is being done. We are talking primarily about the APEC working group on counterterrorism, and also the format of ASEAN intersession meetings on counterterrorism and transnational crime," he said.
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