Russia ‘will not’ share intel with U.S. on ISIS
Moscow on Thursday denied U.S. claims that it had agreed to share intelligence with Washington over the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), saying it would only if there is a U.N. Security Council approval for any operation against ISIS.
The statement came after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said this week that he and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov agreed to step up intelligence sharing ISIS.
But Russia’s foreign ministry denied that saying Moscow “will not join any ‘coalition’ set up without the backing of the U.N. Security Council and that violates international law.”
It pointed out that a bilateral commission involving Washington and Moscow that aimed to help tackle terrorism had been scrapped by the United States, according to AFP.
Moscow also added that it was already giving “significant help” to countries including Syria and Iraq and would continue to do so.
The slapdown to Kerry appeared to underline yet again the fraught state of U.S.-Russian relations, brought low by the crisis in Ukraine where pro-Russian rebels are fighting a pro-West government.
Kerry said on Tuesday that Lavrov had “acknowledged their preparedness to help with respect to arms, weapons, they are doing that now, they already have provided some, and also potentially with the training and advising aspects.”
The U.S. has imposed the toughest sanctions on Moscow since the end of the Cold War over its backing for the separatist rebels in Ukraine.
The two sides are also at loggerheads over the civil war in Syria, where Moscow has been a staunch ally of President Bashar al-Assad.
Washington is currently spearheading a coalition of Western and Arab nations conducting an air campaign against the ISIS jihadists.