Ex-CIA Director: US, Russia Intelligence Cooperation Could Thrive

© AP Photo / Paul Morigi/Invision for AMC/AP ImagesFormer Director of the CIA Michael Hayden
Former Director of the CIA Michael Hayden - Sputnik International
Former CIA Director Michael Hayden claims that intelligence cooperation between the United States and Russia could thrive, though it may be limited by poor relations between the two governments.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik), Leandra Bernstein — Intelligence cooperation between the United States and Russia could thrive, though it may be limited by poor relations between the two governments, former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director Michael Hayden told Sputnik.

"I am not saying that the political relationship means we won’t have good intelligence cooperation, actually I am saying quite the opposite, that sometimes you have very good cooperation even in troubled political times," Hayden said on Friday.

Former CIA and and National Security Agency director Michael Hayden - Sputnik International
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The Russian government has repeatedly called for cooperation and intelligence sharing with the United States in the fight against the Islamic State. Moscow has also pushed for a broader international coalition to combat terrorism. The United States has publicly rejected deeper cooperation, citing fundamental differences in the two nations’ political objectives in the Middle East.

"Very often intelligence relationships are deeper even when political relationships are troubled," Hayden commented. However, he added, the intelligence community ultimately takes political guidance. "So how much we might be able to do might be limited by the overall relationship."

Outside of broader intelligence cooperation, Hayden explained that nations have "a moral responsibility to warn" another of a potential threat. "If we have something that will keep Russian citizens safe, we have a moral responsibility to share it," he stated.

Relations between Russia and the United States deteriorated in 2014 after western allegations that Moscow had interfered in the internal affairs of Ukraine. Moscow has repeatedly refuted the claims, warning that amassing troops and military equipment on Russia’s borders constitute provocative acts and can have a destabilizing effect on the region and globally.

The United States suspended bilateral efforts across the US-Russia Presidential Commission, which included working groups on counterterrorism and intelligence.

On Friday, the Russian Duma approved a resolution calling on international legislatures to create a broad international coalition to combat the threat of terrorism. The appeal follows Tuesday’s deadly terror attacks in Brussels, Belgium, reportedly carried out by Islamic State terrorists.

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