Russia ready to resume anti-terror cooperation with US

MOSCOW • Russia said it was ready to resume anti-terrorism cooperation with the United States as America marked the 20th anniversary of 9/11.

In a statement released by Moscow's diplomatic mission in Washington last Saturday, Ambassador Anatoly Antonov said Russia was grieving together with the US and proposed reviving cooperation on the fight against terrorism despite a litany of problems in bilateral ties.

The Moscow envoy said Russia was ready to resume bilateral dialogue on counter-terrorism, which was carried out under the auspices of the foreign ministries from 2018 to 2019.

"The Russian side is ready to revive the mentioned format. This is our natural priority," Mr Antonov said in a statement posted on the Facebook page of the Russian embassy. "We should put aside all contradictions and disputes and cooperate for the benefit of security and prosperity of not just Russia and the United States, but all of humanity."

Russia, he said, was grateful to the US for sharing information that helped prevent attacks in St Petersburg in 2017 and 2019.

Troubled bilateral ties have rapidly deteriorated further after Mr Joe Biden increased pressure on the Kremlin since becoming US president in January. In May, Russia formally labelled the US an "unfriendly state".

Last Friday, Moscow summoned US Ambassador John Sullivan over what it said was the interference of US tech giants in Russian parliamentary polls due this week.

Separately, Russia used new combat robots and tactical vehicles on the second day of the active main phase of large military drills with its former Soviet ally Belarus, the Defence Ministry said last Saturday.

The "Zapad-2021" war games, which will run until Thursday on Russia and Belarus' western flanks - including sites close to the European Union's borders - have alarmed Ukraine and some Nato countries.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 13, 2021, with the headline 'Russia ready to resume anti-terror cooperation with US'. Subscribe