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Security chief does not rule out restoring contacts between Russian, US intel services

It is very important for developing more confidential relations at the interstate level, Sergei Naryshkin said
Russian Foreign Intelligence Service Chief Sergei Naryshkin Alexei Nikolsky/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS
Russian Foreign Intelligence Service Chief Sergei Naryshkin
© Alexei Nikolsky/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS

DUSHANBE, May 22. /TASS/. Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) Sergei Naryshkin has said he does not rule out the restoration of contacts between intelligence representatives of Russia and the United States.

"I don't rule out that we will restore cooperation at the highest level," Naryshkin told reporters in Dushanbe, where he participated in the session of the Council of the Heads of Security Services and Special Services of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) member countries. Asked about whether the issue concerns possible contacts between the intelligence chiefs of the two countries, he said, "It is possible."

Naryshkin highlighted that the SVR has wide partner relations with the intelligence services of other countries and that they have never stopped, in particular with the US’ Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). "Over a year ago when [US Secretary of State Michael] Pompeo served as CIA Director, he visited us, we met in the US in Langley (where the CIA headquarters is located - TASS), exchanged phone calls and talked. It was a time of fruitful development of our contacts and the exchange of both intelligence and analytical information," the SVR director said.

He said it is very important for developing more confidential relations at the interstate level.

"Then, due to domestic political events in the US, due to the strengthening of the domestic political crisis, these contacts subsided. Though I admit that we continued to share operative information, especially anti-terrorist one," Naryshkin added.

He noted that the SVR "is maintaining constant and fruitful contacts and cooperation with the heads of other intelligence services, in particular Western European ones, through the partner channel."