22 Dec 2017 18:30

Russian-UK antiterrorism cooperation hindered by London's decision to stop contacts with FSB because of 'Litvinenko case' - Lavrov

MOSCOW. Dec 22 (Interfax) - Antiterrorism cooperation between Russian and UK law-enforcement agencies will not be efficient without the Russian Federal Security Service's (FSB) involvement, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday.

"I know that there have been meetings on the level of interior ministries, perhaps the FSB would inevitably be involved in such measures, but truly efficient cooperation in fighting terrorism has so far been limited due to the British government's decision to stop all contact with the FSB, which it made in the context of the so-called Litvinenko case," Lavrov said at a press conference with UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on Friday.

"Contacts between the relevant agencies of the two countries with respect to security" during the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia are taking place, he said.

"The FSB is our main body in combating terrorism, the National Antiterrorism Committee is operating under the FSB's supervision, and therefore, without full-format contacts with the FSB, which London declines to maintain, it's hard to hope for the success in this field that all of us deservedly expect," he said.

Moscow is concerned that despite numerous requests, "the relevant British law-enforcement agencies are still unwilling to provide information on the so-called 'Litvinenko case,' a considerable part of which has been classified without coherent explanations," Lavrov said.

"I think the artificial association between this very dubious case and obviously essential cooperation in fighting terrorism will ultimately not be maintained," he said.