Moscow Believes Chilly Relations With US Do Not Mean Anti-Terrorism Effort Futility
08:34 GMT 09.09.2021 (Updated: 13:23 GMT 06.08.2022)
© Sputnik / Grigoriy SysoevView of the building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia from the observation deck on Vorobyovy Hills in Moscow
© Sputnik / Grigoriy Sysoev/
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The cooling of relations between Moscow and Washington does not mean that the countries have been cooperating on counterterrorism in vain for the past 20 years, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov said in an interview with Sputnik.
"Over the 20 years that have passed since the 9/11 events, the counterterrorism cooperation between the Russian Federation and the United States has been developing with varying degrees of intensity, and the current cooling of our relations does not mean that these two decades have passed in vain and to no avail," Syromolotov said.
Moscow has repeatedly emphasised that the 2018-2019 dialogue between Russian and US foreign affairs agencies was "quite productive," the diplomat recalled.
"This dialogue had every chance to become an 'all-weather' one, not depending on any external irritants, but it was terminated unilaterally at Washington's initiative under far-fetched pretexts, which hardly served anyone well," Syromolotov concluded.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Emphasises Need for Counterterrorism Cooperation With US
Syromolotov also expressed the belief that counterterrorism cooperation with Washington is objectively necessary after the deadly 9/11 attacks.
"Although the political dialogue is now frozen, counterterrorism cooperation with the United States is objectively necessary, as it is in line with our national interests and tasks of maintaining international peace and security," Syromolotov told Sputnik.
"However, we should not need such cooperation more than our partners from across the ocean do," the Russian diplomat stressed.
US Interference Led to Terrorist Groups Emergence in Iraq, Libya, Syria
Washington's interference in the affairs of Iraq, Libya and Syria has led to the emergence of terrorist organisations in these countries, which are a source of major global concern, Syromolotov said in an interview with Sputnik.
"The main lesson that the international community should learn from the US anti-terrorism policy is the understanding that the fight against terrorism should be carried out ... in strict compliance with norms and principles of the international law," Syromolotov said.
"The US disregard for the international law, manifested it its unlawful interference and violation of the territorial integrity of Iraq, Libya and Syria, to a certain extent led to the emergence of the most dangerous terrorist organisations in these countries, which became a headache for the whole world," Syromolotov added.
US troops invaded Afghanistan under former US president George W. Bush in 2001, as part of the infamous "war on terror" following the 9/11 terror attacks. Apart from the US forces, over 47,200 Afghan civilians were killed over the course of the war, the most recent estimate shows.
9/11 was also used as a pretext for justifying the 2003 invasion of Iraq, with the Bush administration actively claiming in the lead-up to the war that Saddam Hussein was cooperating with al-Qaeda*.
* A terrorist group outlawed in Russia and many other countries.