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Secret services cooperation in struggle against IS leaves much to be desired

September 18, 2015, 13:51 UTC+3 TASHKENT

Certain cooperation is going on, but it is not at the level Russia would like to see, in particular, in relations with the Western countries, Russian Federal Security Service chief says

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© AP Photo/Hadi Mizban

TASHKENT, September 18. /TASS/. Cooperation by different countries’ secret services in the struggle against the spreading influence of the terrorist organization Islamic State leaves much to be desired for the time being, while Russia keeps the door open to such cooperation, the first deputy director of Russia’s federal security service FSB, Sergey Smirnov, has said. He was speaking after the 27th meeting of the of the Council of Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Tashkent in reply to a question from TASS to what extent Russia’s and the SCO countries’ secret services in general were cooperating with their counterparts in the United States and Western Europe.

"Special services always seek to maintain at least some sort of contacts on the closest issues, regardless of the current political processes. We have never shirked anti-terror efforts and we are prepared to work together with any partner. But regrettably a number of countries and some secret services have pushed this into the background," General Smirnov said.

At the same time he recalled that at an international conference of secret services’ chiefs in Russia’s city of Yaroslavl last spring, held by the FSB director, "there were statements by a large number of countries in support of the idea of joint operations in the struggle against terrorism, and not in favour of ‘ever-man-for-himself attitudes."

"True, certain cooperation is going on, but it is not at the level we would like to see, in particular, in relations with the Western countries that largely set the tune," Smirnov said.

"There have been declarations even by the United States that it never abandons interaction (in the struggle against terrorism) with Russia altogether. But taking practical steps is a very serious matter. They are either separate and very specific or local. I would say there is no broad cooperation. But we are always open to such cooperation and the leverage and the opportunities that we have at our disposal might be put to use," he believes.

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