Russia has denied it would cooperate more closely with the US on terrorism. This was announced two days after US Secretary of State John Kerry said Washington and Moscow would work more closely on the issue.
Moscow has denied telling Washington it would increase intelligence on the "Islamic State" jihadist group.
Without denying the existence of any cooperation, Moscow said in a statement on Thursday it would "not join any 'coalition' set up without the backing of the UN Security Council and that violates international law."
The statement also pointed out that Washington had unilaterally stopped a bilateral commission which had aimed at tackling terrorism. It added that Russia was already providing "significant help" to countries such as Syria and Iraq to fight "terrorism" and that it would continue to do so.
"Russia will continue those efforts but will not get involved in 'coalitions', which are being created in circumvention of the UN Security Council and are in breach of international law," the statement read.
Moscow's comments contradict a statement made by US Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday after meeting with his Russian counterpart in Paris.
"I suggested to Foreign Minister Lavrov that we intensify intelligence cooperation with respect to ISIL and other counter-terrorism challenges of the region and we agreed to do so," Kerry said just after the meeting, using an alternative name for IS jihadists.
"The foreign minister indeed 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," he continued, adding that the jihad militia had no place in the 21st century.
Differences over Syria
Washington and Moscow have been at loggerheads over the Syrian civil war and the ensuing emergence of the IS, deemed by the White House as a much larger threat than previously assumed. While the US has been carrying out unapproved airstrikes in Syria, Russia continues to support the regime of beleaguered President Bashar al-Assad, who has been accused of crimes against humanity over the past three years of the Syrian civil war.
Thursday's statement from Moscow is indicative of just how strained ties are between the US and Russia - initially over the crisis in eastern Ukraine - which many say are the #link:17973054:worst they have been since the Cold War.
sb/mg (Reuters, AFP)