The leaders of the Russian and American intelligence services met in Washington. As has told in interview Bi-bi-si, the Director of the CIA Mike Pompeo, he discussed with a colleague from the SVR threat returning from Syria militants of the banned in Russia organization “Islamic state” — immigrants from Russia and Central Asia.

Michael Pompeo. Photo: Reuters

A few days ago was probably the most high-profile meeting of heads of special services of Russia and the USA in recent years. Washington secretly came Director of the foreign intelligence Service Sergei Naryshkin met with the head of the CIA Mike Pompeo.

Information about this meeting Pompeo has confirmed in interview to correspondent Bi-bi-si on security issues Gordon Korera. “Recently I spoke with his Russian counterpart” — he said (the full interview will be released on bi-Bi-si 2 February) .

Informed about the visit of Naryshkin in the United States and said Russia’s Ambassador to America, Anatoly Antonov in interview to the program “60 minutes” on the channel “Russia 1”.

Together with Naryshkin arrived in the United States, the head of the Main Directorate of the Russian General staff (known as GRU) Igor Korobov and Director of the FSB Alexander Bortnikov, reported the Washington Post, citing its own sources. Neither Pompeo nor Antonov on who came together with Naryshkin, did not.

Russian authorities this visit also did not comment. “I have repeatedly said that we do not comment on,” said bi-Bi-si the head of the press Bureau of the SVR, Sergei Ivanov. Bi-bi-si waits for replies from the press service of the FSB and the defense Ministry, press Secretary of Russian President Dmitry Peskov refused to comment on the meeting.

And Naryshkin, Boxes and personal are under us sanctions. However, under us law, they can come on a working visit to the United States if it does not threaten the interests of the country, — the decision taken by the Secretary in coordination with the Department of homeland security.

Benefit To The West

Pompeo in an interview with bi-Bi-si has told that communicated with his Russian counterpart about the threat of the return of militants of the “Islamic state”, which went to Syria from Russia and Central Asia: “This is a global problem that we must solve together, so we were able to prevent such terrorist attacks that happened in 2017”.

He noted that although the United States view Russia as an opponent with a nuclear Arsenal, but nevertheless, in the field of fight against terrorism and “some other areas”, where Russian and American intelligence services can work together, “we need to do it.”

Pompeo reminded that President of Russia Vladimir Putin “said good things” about the American intelligence community. 17 December, during a telephone conversation, Putin thanked his American counterpart Donald trump for information from the CIA, which helped to detain terrorists were preparing explosions in the Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg.

“I really appreciate what we together have done this, [helped to prevent the attack in the Cathedral]. Honestly, most likely, there could be casualties among U.S. citizens,” — said the head of the CIA Bi-bi-si.

He noted that the Russian intelligence service to share information, “which benefits the West”. “This is an area where we can work together where we have common interests,” said Pompeo.

Antonov said that the heads of the intelligence services discussed the issue of joint fight against terrorism. “We were in contact in 2014 when carried the Sochi Olympics. Of course, I think about working together this year, when will world Cup football,” he recalled. The Ambassador noted that the work of the intelligence services is, “and you are right [that it] is not very visible to readers and viewers”.

On the occasion Pompeo said in response to the request of Senator Charles Schumer (document is at the disposal of bi-Bi-si). He noted that in meetings with the leadership of the CIA with the Russian colleagues, there is nothing “adverse”. “We occasionally meet with Russian colleagues for the same reasons that it was done by our predecessors — to keep America safe,” wrote Pompeo Sumer. According to him, such meetings discuss the very complex issues on which the interests of Russia and the USA coincide.

An obscure signal

“This is a rare case. I do not remember to come at the same time the heads of all three intelligence agencies, said bi-Bi-si, the editor-in-chief of the site ““, historian of special services Andrey Soldatov. — Surprisingly, even in the best period of relations between the Russian and American intelligence services did not happen.”

The “best” from the point of view of these contacts soldiers called 2013 — according to him, after the attack on the marathon in Boston and the winter Olympics in Sochi, the interaction between the intelligence services of the USA and Russia was the most dense.

The Washington Post quotes current and former employees of the United States, which also noted that I can’t remember another case when in Washington at the same time would come many leaders of the Russian intelligence and security agencies.

According to Soldatov, the theme of consultations on the fight against terrorism is only a pretext, as the majority of meetings and contacts between special services between Russia and the United States explain this.

“It’s quite a symbolic story, all formal channels of cooperation in these areas established a long time ago — preventing terrorist attacks in Saint-Petersburg is one example. The meeting is likely to symbolize that we maintain contact, but the signal is some kind of weird,” says Soldatov.

Taking into account the statements Pompeo in an interview with Bi-bi-si that Russia is allegedly preparing an intervention in the election to the U.S. Congress, to talk about improving relations is not necessary, the expert said: “After the events of the 2016-2017 year this optimism is a bit surprising”.

The former head of the press Bureau of the foreign intelligence service, Yuri Kobaladze said bi-Bi-si, that does not remember joint visits in the United States the heads of all three intelligence services, but did not exclude what was once was. “The practice of exchange of delegations was, I did awesome on this trip I do not see”, — he added.

“These things are similar to the situation with the iceberg, when on the surface only one-seventh part, the seventh and six under water”, — commented the event President of the International counter terrorism Association Joseph Linder.

Linder noted that contacts between intelligence between Russia and the United States did not stop even in periods of the strongest tensions. “It’s part of the political behind the scenes — even during Soviet times, the secret military diplomacy worked, — he stressed. — There is an old English saying: the intelligence services has neither friends nor enemies, they have interests. Intelligence — pragmatic authority”.