Terrorism makes int’l security services cooperation ‘possible, necessary’ – New Russian intel chief

State Duma Speaker Sergey Naryshkin  © Aleksey Nikolsky
Security services of various countries should coordinate their efforts despite all political differences, the newly appointed chief of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), Sergey Naryshkin, told Russian media in an interview.

“Cooperation between the intelligence services of various countries is not only possible but necessary,” Naryshkin said during the interview with Vesti, adding that he is “convinced” that security officials “can and should” cooperate in countering “specific threats and particularly terrorism” despite all political differences.

Russian intelligence is ready to cooperate with the US, British and other western security services, adding that security officials “should work together particularly because they understand the level of threat as well as what needs to be done to counter it better than anyone else,” he added.

At the same time, he stressed that the world “is not limited only to the US and the EU and is much bigger and broader.”

Naryshkin’s appointment as the new SVR chief was announced Thursday during his meeting with President Vladimir Putin. Putin urged him to “develop contacts with our partners in major areas, countering terrorism in the first place.”

Naryshkin had served as the speaker of the lower house of the Russian parliament, the State Duma, since December 2011 and prior to that was the chief of the presidential administration for over three years. He also served as the head of the government office from 2004 to 2007.

His appointment as the speaker of the State Duma expires in October following September’s elections of a new parliament in Russia. He is then expected to start his service as the SVR chief in the middle of October, according to the press secretary.

In his interview with Vesti, Naryshkin also commented on the results of the September State Duma elections. He said that the parties who failed to enter the lower house of parliament had not managed to win voters to their cause.

At the same time, he stressed that some newly established parties could still have a bright future, since “it does take a long time for a party to gain its footing and reputation, and to find its electoral base.”

The SVR is Russia’s main service for conducting foreign surveillance, which was founded in 1991, following the break-up of the Soviet Union. Among other responsibilities, the SVR is tasked with providing intelligence to the Russian president and government, as well as to both parliamentary chambers.