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Diplomat says anti-terror efforts must not be hostage to political ambitions

January 16, 2017, 19:08 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Russian diplomat noted that statements of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump about readiness for broad international cooperation in combating Islamic State inspire cautious optimism

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© Abid Katib/Getty Images

MOSCOW, January 16. /TASS/. Anti-terrorist cooperation between Russia and the United States must not be hostage to immature political and ideological ambitions, director of the Russian foreign ministry’s department for new challenges and threats, Ilya Rogachev, said in an interview with TASS.

"Our countries must do a lot to ensure reciprocal movement to strengthen international anti-terrorist solidarity and abandon politicization in the sphere of combating the global evil of terrorism, to cooperate in the area of anti-terrorist struggle without double standards and secret agendas," he said. "It will not be easy to do. A lengthy period of dramatic chill in bilateral relations cannot come to an end overnight."

"In this sense, statements of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, in particular, about readiness for broad international cooperation, including with Russia, in combating Islamic State, inspire cautious optimism," the Russian diplomat noted. "However no illusions should be cherished about the media-hyped ‘pro-Russian attitudes’ of the future U.S. president and his team. Trump was elected by the American people and, naturally, his actions will be geared towards the realization of the United States’ interests, not Russia’s. What is important for us is to be sure that under the new U.S. administration Russian-U.S. anti-terrorist cooperation develops in conditions of constructive dialogue and is not hostage to immature political and ideological ambition."

However, in his words, pronouncements by a number of candidates for posts in the future U.S. administration, who are currently being approved by the Congress, give no ground for optimism. "No one can say whether what they are telling the Congress is meant for ‘war hawks’ to get endorsed by the Congress and how their words reflect actual future policy," he said. "Anyway, analysts find a lot of discrepancies in what is said about relations with Russia by Trump and members of his team."

"I think America’s political system and elite in general will not let Trump, so to say, ‘set his face towards Russia’ (if really wants to do that)," Rogachev said. "Yes, once he managed to override the system by winning the elections as a non-system candidate, but can we expect such successes become systemic?"

Struggle against financing of terrorism

Effective struggle against international terrorism will be possible on the condition all sources of its financing and material and technical support for it are plugged tightly, Rogachyov said.

He recalled that last October certain amendments were introduced at Russia’s initiative to the universal standards of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) regarding the struggle against the financing of terrorism. The amendments were geared to imposing financial and economic blockade on the Islamic State, Jabhat al-Nusra and other related terrorist groups.

"Russia was successful in promoting its wording of bans on any trade with terrorists, including that in oil and other natural resources," he said. "Objectively, this will promote the comprehensive implementation of UN Security Council resolutions 2199 and 2253. From now on the FATF will be able to take the harshest measures, including black and grey lists, against countries that may violate these binding decisions by the UN Security Council."

"Also, we managed to ensure the FATF should go ahead with systemic efforts to expose new sources of funding the Islamic State and to update the related information thrice a year," Rogachyov said. "Some results are available already. There has been evidence the Islamic State is financed with proceeds from the sale of human organs, from fish farms in Iraq and from building firms in Germany. Also, it has been confirmed that the Islamic State has been trying to invest into real estate in Europe, the United States and Turkey."

"We believe that such information deserves close analysis and consolidation of efforts by our partners with the aim to timely eliminate new channels of financial support for the Islamic State," Rogachyov said.

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