‘US divulging intel to Europe about terrorist cells that Moscow needs to hear’
The Fifth Moscow Conference on International Security is currently underway in Moscow. Russia's Defense Ministry Sergey Shoigu is hosting the two-day event. Fighting terrorism and security cooperation is said to be among the main topics under discussion.
RT: Russia invites NATO members to the conference every year. Sometimes they come, sometimes they don't. But there's not many to be seen at today's meeting, why so?
Martin McCauley: Well, there is, if you like, an incipient Cold War between Russia and America, which is very unfortunate because as speaker after speaker at that conference pointed out, information sharing is the most important thing. States are only beginning to do it. A lot of sensitive information is kept, because they don’t want to reveal that information.
The head of the National Intelligence Agency in America, James Clapper, has said there are Islamic State cells already in England, Germany and Italy. Therefore, the Americans are saying things which perhaps they should have been saying in Moscow. But they have been saying these things and they are warning Europe that there is a formidable threat from Syria, from jihadists returning from Syria, North Africa, Iraq and so on. The Americans say that more and more closer cooperation between states is necessary. They are… saying that it’s very, very important to collaborate. But of course their top people should be in Moscow saying that.
RT: Foreign Minister Lavrov said that security cooperation with Russia was one of the projects frozen by NATO. Why are they unwilling to work together in this sphere?
MM: It is very unfortunate. There is this so-called Cold War between America and Russia at present. At a time when information sharing, working together against terrorism, working together to solve more problems are not really on the table. There is some contact again between NATO and Russia after it was cut off for a long time. But problems in Ukraine, problems in Crimea, and so on have led to this very unfortunate situation. So hopefully now we can then turn the page, make progress and make progress in Syria, where diplomatic solutions are absolutely necessary. And the key to the solution in Syria is an agreement or the working together of Russia and America; these two powers can bring together a solution. The others cannot do this.
And if they are willing to do that and make concessions to the other side, and so on, then progress can be made in Syria. But if they continue to argue ‘We’re supporting [Bashar] Assad,’ from the Russian point of view; the Americans they say ‘Assad has to go before we can really get down to business,’ and so on, that approach is blocking progress. Compromise has to be made. It is very important for Russia and America, as the expression goes, to sing from the same hymn sheet – they should be really talking the same language, working together and this conference in Moscow underlines that in a world where security is becoming more important and a threat from jihad and terrorism is increasing.
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