US and EU Must Work With Russia Against Terror – Greek Defense Minister

© Sputnik / Sergey Pyatakov / Go to the photo bankRussian and U.S. flags at the Vnukovo 2 Airport
Russian and U.S. flags at the Vnukovo 2 Airport - Sputnik International
Imagining that Russia poses a threat to the West is a Cold War fantasy out of a James Bond film, Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos said at an Athens conference, according to RIA Novosti.

View of Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs building - Sputnik International
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Western fears of a threat from Russia are based on a Cold War fiction, and the EU and US need to exchange information with Moscow in order to tackle terrorism and the migration crisis, Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos said at a conference in Athens on the migration crisis and terrorism.

"We need to have cooperation with Russia, exchange information about a common enemy: terrorism," Kammenos told the conference, RIA Novosti reported.

"There has to be international cooperation in the exchange of data. Military intelligence has to exchange information with NATO and the EU, but also with friendly states. NATO ministers avoid using the word 'Russia,' but why not? We have to cooperate with Russia, let's not forget about the Chechen terrorists who bombed the Boston Marathon."

In April 2013, Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, brothers of Chechen descent, planted two bombs at the Boston Marathon which killed three people and injured at least 264. It later emerged that Russian authorities had warned the FBI and CIA in 2011 that Tamerlan Tsarnaev may have connections to militant Islamists.

An image made available by the jihadist Twitter account Al-Baraka news on June 9, 2014 allegedly shows Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants waving the trademark Jihadits flag as vehicles drive on a newly cut road through the Syrian-Iraqi border between the Iraqi Nineveh province and the Syrian town of Al-Hasakah - Sputnik International
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At the conference, Kammenos said that fears stoked in the West about a threat from Russia are a fiction akin to a Cold War movie plot, and emphasized that any threat to Europe comes from the terrorism that originates in the Middle East and North Africa.

"In Western countries there is fear, but to talk today about an enemy from the North is like writing a script for James Bond; there isn't one. Since the end of the Cold War there hasn't been a threat from the North. The enemy is in the South, in the Middle East and North Africa. It has a lot of money, and uses Western countries' own citizens, second and third generation immigrants such as in France, and they have links with the flow of migrants and refugees," Kammenos said.

The defense minister also referred to the need to cut off financing for terrorist groups, and reiterated his accusation, supported by Russia and Israel, that Turkey assists the terrorist group Daesh in raising the necessary funds for terrorism.

"US Vice President Joe Biden, the Russian government, the Israeli defense minister, have all made announcements about this," Kammenos said.

On January 26 Kammenos held a meeting with his Israeli counterpart Moshe Ya'alon, at which they discussed Turkey's support for Daesh, and expressed hope that Ankara will change its policy and give a greater chance for resolution to the conflict in Iraq and Syria.

Kammenos told a news conference after the meeting that "the bulk of oil coming from Islamic State (Daesh) terrorists passes through Turkey while most terrorism financing flows go through Turkey as well." 

"It would be great if Turkey changes its attitude, refuses to cooperate with terrorists, and avoids actions that cause trouble in the region."

"As you know, Daesh enjoyed Turkish money for oil for a very, very long period of time. I hope that it will be ended," Israeli Defense Minister Ya'alon also told the news conference.

"Turkey allowed terrorists to move from Europe to Syria and Iraq and back home, as part of the Daesh terror infrastructure in Europe; I hope that it is going to be ended," Ya'alon said.

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