Even after the United States’ decision to prolong its sanctions, Russia will not stop cooperating with that country in fields like combatting terrorism and drug trafficking; space and nonproliferation, says Nikolay Kovalyov, former Chief of Russia’s Federal Security Service, member of the State Duma’s Security and Corruption Control Committee.
“In big politics one can act like a kid playing in a sandpit. Countries seeking dominance in global security must not act like that,” Kovalyov says.
According to him, the Americans’ decision to prolong their anti-Russian sanctions was one more step to push the Europeans away from the Russians.
“Quite imperceptibly, their trade turnover with Russia is growing. That is, by hook or by crook they are trying to squeeze themselves into the fields that formerly belonged to the Europeans. They have not stopped their anti-terror cooperation with the Russians even though they keep urging the Europeans not to do it,” Kovalyov says.
He notes that recently Chief of Russia’s Federal Security Service Alexander Bortnikov visited the US and attended a conference where he agreed with his American colleagues to continue joint action against terrorism.
“This can’t be otherwise as many terrorists fighting in Syria or elsewhere are going back to Europe to later hide in the United States,” Kovalyov says.
“Or take the Iranian nuclear program. How can they solve this problem without Russia? They in Washington know this, that’s why they are not stopping their cooperation. The same is true for space. How can we stop our partnership after years of joint activity? For many decades already, we have been building international space stations. And today we need each other’s hand in this field,” says Kovalyov.
He qualifies Obama’s decision as a purely political move. “What else can he do? He doesn’t want to appear with a white flag and say, ‘Our sanctions have failed.’ He is trying to drag this banner to the end. Whatever the case, it seems that the sanctions have had a much worse effect on Europe – on Poland, on Greece,” says Kovalyov.