Former FSS Head: Russia to continue cooperation with USA in fight against terrorism and drug trafficking

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In big-time politics you can`t behave like children playing in the sandpit, says Kovalyov

Regardless of prolongation of sanctions by the USA, Russia doesn`t intend to stop cooperating with the country in such key areas as fight against terrorism and drug trafficking, space, challenges to the nuclear non-proliferation regime. The former Head of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation, member of the State Duma Committee for Security and Anti-Corruption Nikolay Kovalyov said this to TASS on Wednesday.

"We can take offense and make a lot of blunders. But we don`t go this way and will never do, because you we can`t discard cooperate in such areas as fight against international terrorism, combating drug trafficking around the world," underlined the parliamentarian reminding that drug-trafficking routes exist all around the globe.

"In big-time politics you can`t behave like children playing in the sandpit: you destroy my sandcastle, I throw my spade at you," said Kovalyov. He is convinced that "serious countries claiming to be leaders in maintenance of security should`t behave like this."

The politician also matches Washington's decision to extend sanctions against Russia with the fact that Americans try to "push Europeans out of areas of cooperation with Russia." In this context, he reminded that trade turnover between Russia and the United States increased "on the sly". "In other words, by some means or other, Americans are trying to take the areas that were once dealt with by Europeans," stated Kovalyov.

Fight against terrorism continues

Meanwhile, the United States "haven`t ceased cooperation (with Russia) in fight against international terrorism - although they call on Europe to stop all kinds of cooperation," the deputy said. He pointed that recently the Head of the Federal Security Service Alexander Bortnikov "has been in the United States, participated in the conference, agreed to cooperate in fight against international terrorism." "That's a given. Because those terrorists who fought, for example, in Syria, return to Europe and then hide in the United States," said Kovalyov.

"Or let`s take Iran's nuclear program. How these issues will be addressed without Russia`s assistance?" Kovalyov asked another rhetorical question. According to him, Washington is aware of this and that is why the USA don`t cease cooperation with Russia.

"Or let`s take space, for example. How can we stop cooperation in the area of space? For decades we`ve been maintaining joint programs, constructed international stations; this is a mutual assistance in case of anyaccidents, mutual help," said the parliamentarian. He called it "a universal problem which all the global community should solve." "We can not say now - no cooperation, the ISS stops operating, American astronaut should be thrown overboard - we do not cooperate anymore," added Kovalyov. "It can`t happen and it shouldn`t," he repeated.

The former Head of the Federal Security Service finds Obama's decision to be "purely political steps." "And what should he do? He doesn`t want to come to the international arena with a white flag and say - "Sanctions have failed." He is trying to carry his sanctions flag until the end," said Kovalyov. "Anyway, there`s still a feeling that the sanctions hurt Europe - Poland and Greece - more than Russia," he concluded.

Text and pictures by TASS