"Russia also poses this question as if we should cooperate against terrorism and end our measures that have been taken in response to their aggression against Ukraine. We are not going to make any kind of tradeoff," Vershbow said during a press conference with Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite in Vilnius.
Vershbow was asked to respond to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s call on Wednesday for Russia and the West to set aside geopolitical games and unite against the common threat of terrorism in the aftermath of the deadly Brussels terror attacks this week.
Vershbow noted that he believes "all of our nations" would like to cooperate with Russia against terrorism, but they have reservations about Russia’s commitment to fight the Islamic State, or Daesh, after its intervention in Syria.
Russia's relations with the NATO deteriorated in 2014 over the Ukrainian crisis, with the alliance cutting off all practical civilian and military cooperation under the NATO-Russia Council. The United States, European Union and their allies accused Russia of meddling in Ukrainian internal affairs.
Moscow has repeatedly refuted the allegations, noting that NATO amassing troops and military equipment on Russia’s borders constitute provocative acts contrary to previous agreements and can destabilize the region.