US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter said the United States will cooperate with Russia in areas of common interest, including counter-terrorism in a press briefing on Thursday.
Carter said "Where Russia sees its interests as aligned with ours, we can work with them and we will continue to do that."
The relationship between Moscow and Washington has grown tense after the annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014 and the on-going military conflict between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian forces.
However, Ashton Carter said Russia and the United States are working together on a number of issues including counter terrorism.
Carter said ‘’There are places where Russia is working with us: in counter-terrorism with respect to North Korea, Iran and elsewhere...’’
The first high-level meeting between the sides after the Ukraine crisis took place during US Secretary of State John Kerry’s trip to Black Sea resort of Sochi for the Olympic Games, both parties met again for Iran nuclear deal in Austria’s capital Vienna.
After the meeting in Austria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov talked to reporters about the Ukraine crisis.
‘’In accordance with a previously reached agreement after John Kerry’s visit to Sochi, we agreed to continue our contacts on the Ukraine crisis,’’ Lavrov said.
However, on nuclear capacity of Russia, the US Defence Secretary said that Russia poses a significant threat to the United States because of the size of its nuclear arsenal.
The US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Nominee, Joseph Dunford, stated on July 9 that Russia is the greatest national security threat to the United States. The day after Dunford expressed his thoughts about Russia, the US Secretary of State criticized Dunford's comments stating that ISIS is the existential threat to US safety.