MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia restored anti-terrorism cooperation with 12 states over the past year and a half, Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov said Tuesday.
"Not everything is painted black in the international track. Another year and a half ago… all kinds of relations with us were severed, both on bilateral and international levels. And now I can say that on a bilateral basis we have restored relations with 12 countries, with some of them [we are engaged in such relations] for the first time. For example, with Italy and the United Kingdom, with which we have not ever had such relations," Syromolotov said.
The diplomat also noted that the relations with major international blocks were also being restored, in respect of anti-terrorism cooperation, in particular, with the European Union.
"What is the most importantly is that we are not alone despite US pressure… Implicitly, when it comes to bilateral relations, all countries say that… without cooperation with Russia in the fight against terrorism no problems will be solved," Syromolotov said.
The United States, the European Union and some of their allies have imposed several rounds of sanctions against Russia, over Crimea’s reunification with Russia and Moscow's alleged involvement in the conflict in Ukraine, which started as Kiev launched a military operation in the country's eastern regions in April 2014. Russia has repeatedly refuted the allegations, warning that the Western sanctions are counterproductive and undermine global stability.
On September 30, 2015 Russia has stated an aerial campaign in war-torn Syria to assist Damascus in the fight against extremists, most notably, Daesh, which is outlawed in Russia and many other counties.
The move has been criticized by Washington, which heads an intentional coalition, which shells terrorists in Syria from air, without either UN Security Council approval, or Damascus' consent.