Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned against exploiting terror groups for political goals, and strongly rejected the classification of terrorists into “good” and “bad” ones.
“It is unacceptable and extremely dangerous to try to exploit terrorist and radical extremist groups out of political and geopolitical interests,” Russia
’s TASS news
agency quoted Putin as saying in an interview with Azerbaijan’s state news
agency Azertac on Friday.
“In this endeavor, there can be no double standards; terrorists cannot be divided into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ ones,” he added, in a clear reference to Washington’s categorization of terrorist groups operating the Syria into good and bad ones.
In the few years, some Western countries have been using the terms, “moderate” and “extremist” in a reference to the militants in countries like Syria. Such labels have been used as a pretext to help those insurgents that have been wreaking havoc in Syria and Iraq.
The Russian leader also expressed his deep concern about two hotbeds of instability, one in Afghanistan and the other in the Middle East, due to the increased flow of drugs, arms trafficking and movement of terrorists.
“The recent terrorist attacks perpetrated in various regions of the world prove yet again that terrorism can be addressed solely through a common effort guided by the norms and principles of international law and coordinated by the UN,” he added.
Iran, Russia, Azerbaijan role in terror fight
Elsewhere in the interview, the Russian president hailed the cooperation among Iran, Russia and Azerbaijan, in fighting terrorism and curbing drug trafficking.
“I believe there are also good prospects for intensifying interaction to counter terrorism and drug trafficking in a trilateral format,” Putin said, adding that the three countries are engaged in close dialogue on the issue.
He also said that Moscow and Tehran have similar key approaches and see additional opportunities in enhanced multilateral anti-terrorism cooperation within the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
“Together with our Iranian partners, we are engaged in the Clean Caspian Sea operation aimed at cutting off drug trafficking routes,” the Russian leader further said.
Putin’s remarks come as he is scheduled to meet his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani in the Azeri capital on August 8 to discuss regional issues as well as economic ties between the two countries.