Russia will be ready to resume counterterrorism cooperation with NATO if the organization takes such a decision, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday after the talks with his Italian counterpart Paolo Gentiloni.
"We focused on boosting counterterrorism efforts," Lavrov said, adding that the coordination of actions is vital in the sphere.
"We’ve discussed the troubled situation in the counter-terrorism sphere in the framework of the Russia-NATO Council," Lavrov said. "This work, as well as many other areas of cooperation between Russia and NATO, has been suspended, which does not help the situation."
"We are ready to unfreeze this and other ways of cooperation if our NATO colleagues take such decision and change their negative attitude to this forms of cooperation," the minister said. "The same concerns the EU-Russia relations, which had lots of useful instruments helping to solve the problems, on which the effectiveness of anti-terrorism actions depends."
The foreign minister pointed out that Russia and the United States have finally managed to reach real coordination in their anti-terrorist efforts in Syria.
"Following months of contacts with the Americans in Syria we have finally managed to make progress from a mere agreement not to down each other over Syria to a real and efficient coordination of actions to exterminate Islamic State, Jabhat al-Nustra [both outlawed in Russia as terrorist organizations] and other extremist groups," he said. "I think it inexcusable to keep cooperation in the Russia-European Union and Russia-NATO Council formats frozen."
First published by TASS.
All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.