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US, Russian officials discuss fight against terror in Vienna

John J. Sullivan (U.S. Department of State/Flickr)
September 10, 2019

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

A top U.S. State Department official and a Russian deputy foreign minister held a new round of consultations on the fight against terrorism on September 9.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan told Oleg Syromolotov, the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister for antiterrorism matters, in Vienna that dialogue between the two countries “must achieve concrete results to benefit U.S. national security and advance mutual interests by enhancing reciprocal information sharing.”

A U.S. State Department statement after the meeting stated that both sides “discussed trends in the movements of foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs).”

The United States welcomed “Russia’s co-sponsorship of a Global Counterterrorism Forum event on FTFs” at the upcoming UN General Assembly this month together with Morocco and North Macedonia.

Sullivan “emphasized pursuing further sanctions” against the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and its affiliates.

He urged Russia to support U.S. efforts to develop an International Civil Aviation Organization standard “on the use of passenger name record information to prevent terrorists from threatening commercial aviation.”

Russia and the United States agreed to continue counterterrorism dialogue at a high level on a yearly basis.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement cited by TASS that “the two sides reaffirmed their resolve to continue the constructive depoliticized work in the framework of the dialogue between Moscow and Washington.”

The last consultation, held in the Austrian capital in December, was attended by Sullivan and Syromolotov amid a deterioration of bilateral relations over issues including Russia’s seizure of Crimea in March 2014, its role in the wars in Syria and eastern Ukraine, and its alleged election meddling in the United States and other countries.