MOSCOW, November 20. /TASS/. Russia’s Defense Ministry has begun cooperation with the French Armed Forces, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu reported to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday.
"In conformity with our instructions, we have begun to organize cooperation with the French Armed Forces," he said.
He stressed that the tasks set had been accomplished. "The armed force have begun the next stage of the operation," Shoigu said.
On November 17, Russian President Vladimir Putin issued an order to the Russian military to establish direct contact with their French partners to work with them "as allies" and to work out a plan of joint anti-terrorist efforts in Syria. These orders were preceded by Putin’s talks with French President Francois Hollande, when they had agreed to coordinate actions of their countries’ military and security services against terrorists.
Secretary of the Russian Security Council Nikolay Patrushev said on Friday at a meeting with France’s intelligence coordinator Didier Le Bret that terror attacks in Paris and in Egypt’s Sinai demonstrate that the entire international community must pool efforts to counter terrorism.
"During the meeting with Le Bret, Patrushev noted that the terror attacks in Paris and in Sinai obviously demonstrated that coordinated efforts of the international community are needed to uproot the global terrorist threat," the press service of the Russian Security Council said.
According to the press service, Patrushev and Le Bret discussed issues of Russian-French cooperation to ensure security in the Middle East and efforts to enhance anti-terror cooperation.
The Russian A321 passenger jet crash in northern Sinai on October 31 killed 224 people, including 25 children. According to director of Russia’s Federal Security Service Alexander Bortnikov, the crash was caused by a terrorist attack. On November 12, a series of blasts in a Beirut suburb claimed the lives of 44 people. A total of 129 people were killed and more than 350 wounded in a series of terror attacks in Paris on November 13. French President Francois Hollande declared a state of emergency regime in the country and ordered to enhance border crossing control.