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US commander: Washington would welcome Moscow’s help in fighting Islamic State

February 16, 17:49 UTC+3 VIENNA
The United States considers the discussion about the new Cold War not constructive, the commander notes
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Commander of US Army Europe Ben Hodges

Commander of US Army Europe Ben Hodges

© AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

VIENNA, February 16. /TASS/. The United States would welcome Russian help in fighting Islamic State (IS) terrorist organization, Commander of US Army Europe Ben Hodges told journalists on Tuesday.

"I am sure that we would all welcome Russian help against Daesh, or ISIL [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant — former name of IS]," Hodges said adding that "there’s plenty of incentive to work together."

"Russia needs the West in this fighting against Islamic extremism even more than the West needs Russia," Hodges noted.

Discussion about new Cold War not constructive

According to the commander, the United States considers the discussion about the new Cold War not constructive.

"That is not useful and not constructive, and it doesn’t help people to think more clearly about the actual environment," Hodges said at the OSCE high-level seminar on military doctrines and defense policies.

Hodges noted that he does not agree with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s statement at the Munich Security Conference that Russia and West are sliding back to a new Cold War.

"The most important thing we need is transparency, to let everybody see what the other side is doing," he went on.

"NATO is providing enough transparency and openness," Hodges said adding that "the equipment that is being put inside Estonian, Lithuanian, Polish, German bases is well-known to everybody, so there’s no mystery about how much it is."

"Of course, it’s a very small amount — 235 tanks, infantry fighting vehicles which will not fill up the parking lot of the Hofburg [in front of OSCE’s office in Vienna]," he noted.

"So they are there to provide assurance to those allies that the United States is committed to their defense," Hodges said. "So, that’s completely transparent, and everybody in the world can see that. We want it to be seen, so that people are confident," he concluded.

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