NATO coalition for struggle against terrorism cannot be promising — Lavrov

“An alliance which is based on the interests of one group of countries only and interested in neutralization of a threat in part of the threat only cannot be promising,” Lavrov said

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MOSCOW, September 9. /ITAR-TASS/. NATO coalition for struggle against terrorism cannot be a promising alliance because it is based on the interests of one group of countries only, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday after talks with Foreign Minister of Mali Abdoulaye Diop.

“An alliance which is based on the interests of one group of countries only and interested in neutralization of a threat in part of the threat only cannot be promising,” Lavrov said.

He also underscored that US Secretary of State John Kerry pledged to put forward a format for combating terrorism, but these were only words, and not deeds.

“For several months, during our contacts with John Kerry we touch upon the necessity of some kind of joint analysis of the situation in the region (in the Middle East) regarding the terrorism threat and the necessity of a common approach,” the Russian top diplomat said.

“He repeatedly told me that as soon as possible he would suggest a format, according to which the USA, Russia, Europe and the region’s states could assess the events and would try to work out a balance of interests,” the minister said. “I consistently confirmed our readiness for such contact, but the deal remained only in word. Of course, if only not considering the fairly ugly manifestation of this commitment to combatting terrorism in documents adopted by the NATO summit.”

Lavrov stressed Russia’s readiness for a fair, open and collaborating dialogue.



Russian jets to aid the fight against Sunni rebels in Iraq – PM Maliki

Russian jets to aid the fight against Sunni rebels in Iraq – PM Maliki

RT 27.06.2014

Jets from Russia and Belarus will hopefully make a key difference in the fight against ISIS in Iraq, the country’s Prime Minister Nouri Maliki said. He expressed regrets over Iraq’s contract with the US, saying their jets are taking too long to arrive.

“God willing within one week this force will be effective and will destroy the terrorists’ dens,” he told BBC Arabic.

Meanwhile, Maliki criticized the process of purchasing US jets as “long-winded,” adding that the radicals could have been repelled if Iraq had proper air defense.

“I’ll be frank and say that we were deluded when we signed the contract [with the US],” Maliki said. “We should have sought to buy other jet fighters like British, French and Russian to secure the air cover for our forces; if we had air cover we would have averted what had happened,” he went on.

Maliki said Iraq bought second-hand jet fighters from Russia and Belarus “that should arrive in Iraq in two or three days.”

The radical Sunni Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS or ISIL) has taken large parts of the country’s north from the Shia government.

During the interview, the prime minister also confirmed that Syria was behind Tuesday’s air strikes that targeted Iraqi rebels, adding that he welcomed the move.

“They carry out their strikes and we carry out ours and the final winners are our two countries,” he said.

On Tuesday, unidentified bombers launched an air strike on ISIS positions in the northern Iraqi city of al-Qaim.

Iraq’s own air force has also been carrying out attacks on insurgent strongholds over the past week.

On Monday, radical Sunni militants regained control over the northern city of Tal Afar and an airport. A day earlier, jihadists captured three new towns and two border crossings – one with Jordan and the other with Syria.

The ongoing offensive by ISIS is aimed at achieving total dominance in Iraq by radical Sunni militants.

Hundreds of Iraqi soldiers have been killed by the insurgents since June 9, when the Sunni militants started their offensive, according to Iraqi forces.

The United Nations says more than 1,000 people – mainly civilians – have been killed during the surge thus far.

International Effort Thwarted Terrorist Attacks in Sochi – FSB

International Effort Thwarted Terrorist Attacks in Sochi – FSB

MOSCOW, April 9 (RIA Novosti) – A cooperative effort by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) with its international counterparts thwarted a series of planned terrorist attacks on venues at the Sochi Winter Olympics, FSB chief Aleksandr Bortnikov told RIA Novosti on Wednesday.

“One of the examples is joint efforts by the FSB and its colleagues from the United States, Austria, France, Germany and Georgia in relation to a group of people planning terrorist attacks on Olympic venues in Sochi. Together with our foreign counterparts we managed to thwart these attacks,” Bortnikov said.

The FSB chief stressed that terrorism is currently understood to be a transnational crime, with over 70 countries around the globe facing terrorist plots last year. Russia’s strong stand on terrorism and its strict counterterrorism efforts have made it a prime target for terrorists.

Bortnikov also said the country is currently reviewing legislation in an attempt to increase the effectiveness of counterterrorism.

“In the wake of recent events in Syria, new norms have been introduced to the country’s legal code stipulating harsh punishment for training in terrorist camps, as well as setting up, leading or financing terrorist organizations,” he said.

Bortnikov added that 28 terrorist attacks have already been averted this year by a series of counterterrorism operations conducted by Russian security forces under the supervision of the National Anti-Terrorist Committee.

Russia and Egypt to launch military satellite

Russia and Egypt   to  launch military satellite

The Egyptian press reported that during his visit to Moscow the Defense Minister Abdel-Fattah Sisi it was reach agreement for joint production and launch of the space reconnaissance satellite.
The satellite will be to gather information about maneuvers of jihadists in the Sinai Peninsula.
Satellite launch will be carried out within the framework of Russian aid to Egypt in the fight against terrorism.

Saudi Arabia to supply Syrian rebels with anti-aircraft missiles – report

Saudi Arabia to supply Syrian rebels with anti-aircraft missiles – report

Frustrated by the deadlock of the second round of Geneva 2 talks, Saudi Arabia has reportedly offered to supply the rebels with anti-aircraft missiles. Meanwhile Russia has accused the US of once again hijacking peace talks and pushing for regime change.

According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Russian-made antitank guided missiles and Chinese man-portable air-defense systems are up for grabs, already waiting in warehouses in Jordan and Turkey.

An Arab diplomat and several opposition figures with knowledge of the Saudi efforts have told WSJ that these supplies are likely to tip the battlefield scales, as the rebels will become capable of taking on the government’s air power and destroying heavy armored vehicles.

“New stuff is arriving imminently,” a Western diplomat with knowledge of the planned weapons deliveries told the American publication.

Leaders of the Syrian opposition said they don’t yet know the total amount of military aid that will be shipped. The new weapons are expected to reach southern Syria from Jordan while the opposition in the north will get arms from Turkey, the Western diplomat said.

Raising fears that civilian aircraft may eventually become targets, last June several media outlets suggested that Saudi Arabia had already begun supplying anti-aircraft launchers and missiles to militants in Syria. But so far Saudi Arabia, as well as the US, has been officially opposed to arming the rebels with big guns and antiaircraft missiles as they could fall into extremist hands.

According to the WSJ report, rebel commanders struck a deal on the new armaments shipment during a meeting with US and Saudi intelligence agents in Jordan on January 30. During that meeting, rebels allegedly claimed that their new military gains would help force official Damascus consider President Assad’s ouster and bring forward a political solution to the conflict.

Mercenaries on US payroll?

The Wall Street Journal also reports that their rebel sources claimed the US government is paying their salaries to fight the Assad forces. The Southern Front brigades allegedly received $3 million in cash in salaries during the two meetings in Jordan, one held on January 30 and the other late last year.

Meanwhile, congressional aides told the WSJ about scheduled meetings with Syrian opposition leaders next week. The Syrian delegation will allegedly seek extra armaments in order to battle al-Qaeda and al-Nusra elements.

“We’re trying to assure the international community that they can support moderates without the threat of arms falling into the hands of al-Qaeda,” said Oubai Shahbandar, a senior adviser to the Syrian opposition. Saudi Arabia and US have so far refused to comment.

Geneva 2 stalemate

As the second round of Geneva 2 talks so far fails to produce any results, the Russian Foreign Minister has criticized the American stance at the negotiations accusing it of hijacking the talks for the purpose of “regime change” in Syria.

“The only thing they want to talk about is the establishment of a transitional governing body,” Sergey Lavrov said Friday after meeting with the German foreign minister in Moscow. “Only after that are they ready to discuss the urgent and most pressing problems, like terrorism.”

“I am very worried about the systematic attempts to disrupt the political settlement in Syria,” therefore “forcing the (Syrian) government to slam the door.”

Lavrov recalled that talks were kick started to implement the original Geneva communique, position of which Russia and Syria solemnly defend. The June 2012 document stipulates the creation of a transitional political body, holding of free and fair elections, the start of a national dialogue, a review of the constitution and legal system. Nowhere does it mention removal of president Assad.

“Now they are saying that to keep talking is senseless, because the government (of Syria) doesn’t want to agree about the makeup of a transitional governing body. We are going in circles,” Lavrov said.

The Syrian government’s position remains that stopping terrorism and bloodshed should be the priority at the negotiations that started last month. The second round of negotiations between government and opposition representatives began on Monday but no progress has yet been made. The opposition, backed by the US and its allies, insists on forming a transitional authority with “full executive powers,” thus ousting Assad.

After five days of negotiations the opposition has accused the government’s team of “belligerence,” while the government delegation said that the opposition have an “unrealistic agenda.”

“The negotiations are not moving toward a political solution,” said Louay Safi, a spokesman for the Syrian opposition delegation, accusing the government side of adopting a hostile stance.

“I deeply regret to say that this round did not achieve any progress,” Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said. “We came to the Geneva conference to implement Syria’s declared position to reach a political solution. … Unfortunately the other side came with another agenda, with an unrealistic agenda.”

The UN’s Lakhdar Brahimi, curator of the talks, plans to meet the sides on Saturday, the final day for round two of the negotiations, but it remains unclear if he can offer any prospect of drawing the warring parties closer together.

Russian-Lead Security Bloc Looks Boost Peacebuilding Role

Russian-Lead Security Bloc Looks Boost Peacebuilding Role

MOSCOW, November 14 (RIA Novosti) – The head of the Moscow-led Collective Security Treaty Organization said Thursday that the military bloc should boost its peacekeeping capabilities in response to developing internal threats.

CSTO general secretary Nikolai Bordyuzha said he saw a particular danger coming from countries on the geographic fringes of the bloc, a clear reference to Afghanistan.

“The need for an effective peacekeeping mechanism is dictated by the difficult international situation that has unfolded in many regions of the world, including areas not far from the CSTO’s area of responsibility,” Bordyuzha told a security conference in Moscow.

“The vicinity of a so-called arc of instability to our border creates a genuine danger,” he said.

He said potential threats were numerous and ranged from attacks by citizens of former Soviet states that had received terrorist training overseas to the proliferation of extremist ideas, weapons and ammunition in CSTO member states.

CSTO Joint Staff chief Alexander Studenikin said at the same conference that around 3,600 police, military and medical staff have been allocated to handling peacekeeping responsibilities within the organization. He said many of those selected for the job have undergone training abroad and have direct experience in peacekeeping work.

The CSTO, a body roughly analogous to NATO, currently has six members states, all of them former Soviet republics – Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan.

The focus of the organization’s activities has consisted since its inception in the 1990s on fighting drug proliferation and counteracting terrorism risks.

General Shoigu: The main threat to Russia’s security is terrorism

General Shoigu: The main threat to Russia's security is terrorism

11.11.2013 ITAR-TASS
Terrorism remains the main threat to Russia’s security. This opinion was expressed on Saturday, by Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu in an interview with the program “Vesti on Saturday with Sergei Brilev” (TV channel “Russia 1).

“The main enemy – is international terrorism. Maybe it’s threadbare, trite phrase, but look who is fighting in Syria, Afghanistan, Mali, Libya. Second (problem) – this is 2014, Afghanistan (after withdrowal US troops). Third, it is – the approach of NATO to our borders, “- General Shoigu said.