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Diplomacy in Action

Joint Report: 2009-2010 Results of the U.S.-Russia Presidential Commission: Counterterrorism

Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs

[Click for Full Report: HTML Version | PDF Version | Russian Text]

U.S. Coordinator for Counterterrorism, Ambassador Daniel Benjamin, and
Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation on International Cooperation on Counterterrorism and Transnational Organized Crime, Anatoliy Safonov

Inter-Agency Participants:



Department of State

National Security Council

Department of Homeland Security

Transportation Security Administration

Federal Air Marshal Service

Department of Justice

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Department of Defense

Department of the Treasury

Joint Chiefs of Staff

National Counterterrorism Center

National Intelligence Council

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Presidential Administration

National Counterterrorism Committee

Ministry of Transportation

Federal Air Transport Agency

Ministry of Finance

Federal Security Service

Ministry of Internal Affairs

Ministry of Defense

Dates Group Convened:

November 2009:

Ambassadors Benjamin and Safonov held their inaugural bilateral meeting in Berlin, Germany.

May 2010:

Ambassadors Benjamin and Safonov chaired the Counterterrorism Working Group (CTWG) meeting, and Ambassador Safonov did a presentation at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington D.C.


  • Transportation Security: In view of current terror threats, enhancing cooperation in the area of transportation security, including air transport, was recognized by the Working Group as a priority objective. In November/December 2009, Russia’s Federal Security Service hosted U.S. Federal Air Marshal Service representatives at its training facility in Moscow. In May 2010, during the working group meeting, Russia and the United States agreed to cooperate on a number of measures directed toward strengthening air security. Russian and U.S. officials visited various transportation infrastructure sites to discuss best practices. In June 2010, Intensive expert negotiations were conducted on a draft Memorandum of Understanding on aviation security and also on the issue of placing air marshals on flights between our countries.

  • Countering Violent Extremism: The United States and Russia acknowledged that the issue of countering violent extremism requires additional efforts and more active collaboration. Agreement was reached on the regular exchange of information, including in relation to Europe and Central Asia. The sides agreed to place the main focus on the issues of countering radical attitudes that lead to violence, primarily among younger populations. The sides also agreed to focus on multilateral efforts to counter violent extremism. In May 2010, Ambassador Safonov led a discussion with U.S. and Russian counterterrorism experts and media at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington on U.S.-Russian counterterrorism cooperation, including on countering violent extremism. Ambassadors Benjamin and Safonov also agreed to hold an experts meeting on countering violent extremism later in the year.

  • Multilateral Cooperation: The United States and Russia agreed on the need to strengthen the multilateral counterterrorism umbrella and to continue to enhance their cooperation on counterterrorism at the United Nations (UN), including in the lead-up to the General Assembly’s September review of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and the Security Council’s December review of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED). It was decided to strengthen U.S.-Russia cooperation on counterterrorism within the context of the G8. In May 2010, Russia and the United States reached agreement on a joint statement on counterterrorism by G-8 leaders and on a joint initiative to assist victims/survivors of terrorism. It was also decided to work more closely together on counterterrorism issues within the Organization for Security Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

  • Law Enforcement and Security Services Cooperation. The United States and Russia have agreed on the need for an additional forum for dialogue between security and law enforcement agencies on antiterrorism issues. The parties substantively examined issues related to the manufacture, identification, and disposal of improvised explosive devices. The parties also confirmed their mutual interest in expanding cooperation on bilateral legal assistance in criminal cases and identify continuing contacts between the U.S. Department of Justice and the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office on counterterrorism issues.

Agenda for Future:

  • Transportation and Infrastructure Security

  • Countering Violent Extremism

  • Law Enforcement and Special Services Cooperation

  • Countering Terrorism Financing

  • Multilateral Cooperation

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