MOSCOW, November 20. /TASS/. Russia’s State Duma and Federation Council lower and upper house of parliament have declared readiness to develop cooperation with all countries without exception with the aim of combating terrorism, says a draft joint decision of the two houses (received by TASS) that will be considered by them at a meeting on Friday.
The Duma and Federation Council members believe it is necessary to "establish broad international cooperation with all countries, without exception, as well as with the organizations and entities that express readiness for such cooperation." They are also ready to "provide with this aim the maximum support to the Russian president" in the implementation of his initiatives to build a broad antiterrorist coalition by "the capabilities of the Russian Federal Assembly at the legislative level, as well as by means of parliamentary diplomacy."
The draft document also says that not only Russia, but also "many other countries on different continents" have suffered from "brutal terrorist attacks", so modern international terrorism "cannot and should not be associated with any religion, nationality or ethnic group." The terrorists have "thrown down a challenge to the entire civilized world, its common values ··and fundamental living principles," say the Duma and Federation Council members.
Members of both houses of the Russian parliament will hold a joint meeting at the Pillar hall of Unions in Moscow on Friday to discuss issues related to the fight against terrorism. The meeting will also be attended by representatives of the regional legislative assemblies, traditional religious confessions and non-governmental organizations. Previously, the State Duma and Federation Council adopted their own statements on the need to unite the international community’s efforts for combating international terrorism.
Russian President Vladimir Putin recently gave instructions to intensify strikes delivered by Russian aircraft in Syria after Federal Security Service (FSB) chief Alexander Bortnikov reported that the crash of Russia’s A321 airliner above the Sinai Peninsula on October 31 was caused by a terrorist act carried out with the help of a homemade explosive device. A total of 224 people were killed, making the air crash the largest in the history of domestic aviation. Following the tragedy, Russia suspended flights to Egypt.
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu reported to President Vladimir Putin November 17 that Russia has involved strategic and long-range aircraft in strikes against the Islamic State in Syria. "Tu-160, Tu-95MS, Tu-22M3 aircraft of long-range aviation, along with operational and tactical aviation acting from the Khmeimim airfield, have been additionally involved from the Russian territory to destroy gangs," Shoigu said.
A series of terror attacks rocked Paris in the evening on November 13 with shootings, bomb blasts and hostage taking. Terrorists seized the Bataclan concert hall where 1,500 people had gathered for a rock concert. Almost simultaneously, three suicide bombers blew themselves up next to the Stade de France stadium where a football match between French and German national teams was in full swing. Besides, terrorists opened fire at people in popular nightlife spots — cafes, bars and restaurants crowded at that time. The total death toll from all the terror attacks reached 129; another 352 people were injured.
On Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told Russia’s radio that the decision of Russia and France on cooperation in Syria indicates that sober-minded politicians realize that it is necessary to put aside minor things and focus on confronting the Islamic State. "I believe the call of President [Francois] Hollande to President [Vladimir] Putin after the terrible terrorist attacks in Paris, his offer to coordinate our efforts and the president’s response, which expressed willingness to do so on the allied basis, all that indicates that now sensible politicians are leaving aside the minor things and realize there is a need focus on the main priority — to terminate the pretensions of IS to win bridgeheads on the vast territory around the globe," the minister said.