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MOSCOW, November 17 /TASS/. It would be premature to say that the formation of a counter-terrorism coalition to fight the Islamic State terrorist group has started, Vladimir Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov told journalists commenting the Russian president’s call to interact with the French Navy as if the French were allies.
"No, it would be premature to talk about that (the coalition’s formation)," the Kremlin spokesman said.
The understanding and vision of what the coalition is and what it should be like develops and improves as countries come to realise the need of close interaction in fighting terrorism, Peskov stressed.
Earlier on Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the command of the Russian cruiser Moskva that is currently staying in the Mediterranean to establish interaction with the French military who are planning to collaborate with Russia as part of a counter-terrorism operation in Syria.
"A French naval group led by an aircraft carrier will reach our area of activities soon. It is necessary to establish direct contact with the French and work with them as if they were allies," the Russian head of state said.
The Russian and French military will decide on the spot what kind of cooperation their armed forces should have in Syria, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Tuesday.
Asked in what way cooperation with the French colleagues is going to differ from cooperation with the United States, Peskov said, "There has been no interaction with the US side. We are only sharing information with it. The US partners have refused from any kind of cooperation so far. Russia has stressed many times it would welcome the establishment of this cooperation."