Singling Out the Brits

The Russian MFA recently released a summary article titled “Russia in International Counterterrorism Cooperation in 2008”: The article seems to confirm that, at least from the Russian perspective, bilateral cooperation on terrorism issues between Moscow and Washington is going strong.

bq. [D]espite all the twists and turns of the recent period in Russian-US relations, the bilateral anti-terror mechanism – *the Russia-US working group – has been working during this period almost without interruptions* (with allowance for the August “freezes”), performing as well as previously in terms of the exchange of information, analytical layouts, and the national experience in improving anti-terror, fulfilling the appropriate interagency coordination and so on. That is, it turns out that in contemporary conditions antiterrorist cooperation can and does act as a kind of “safety net” and as an untouchable “territory of mutual understanding and trust,” which can well assist the restoration of mutual understanding and trust in other fields as needed. Further, by the way, the “salutary” function of joint anti-terror will additionally be dealt with in the context of the OSCE and Russia-NATO relations.

It’s apparently not so strong with London, however.

bq. Against this background, perhaps the *British alone still remain an unpleasant exception*, as they continue unjustifiably, I would say, obstinately keep the bilateral antiterrorist group at a standstill, and boycott contacts with the Federal Security Service of Russia, without which discussions of antiterrorist tasks lose all practical sense. *I am certain that this “infantile disease” of the British will eventually pass*, but some time is already lost, along with some mutually useful results already missed or unachieved. And perhaps it was London that needed these results to a greater degree.


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