Comment by Ambassador Anatoly Antonov on the 20th Anniversary Commemoration of the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks
Today is the day of grief for all of us. Twenty years ago – on September 11, 2001 – the United States suffered the largest terrorist attack in human history. About three thousand people were killed, tens of thousands were injured. Without exaggeration, the world got divided into "before" and "after".
Russia has always supported America in its hour of need. President Vladimir Putin was the first head of state to call President George W. Bush following those appalling attacks and express solidarity with the people of the United States.
Our country knows at first hand what terrorism is. Islamist networks have repeatedly tested Russia, making it a target of their atrocities. In September 2004, radicals crossed the last line, taking in cold blood the lives of children who came to a Beslan school to celebrate the national Day of Knowledge. Alas, there are many more horrifying facts to be cited.
Regrettably, despite the efforts of international community, the reality proves that the threat of terrorism remains. We strongly believe that only together we can defeat this evil – so to speak, through the efforts of the whole world, without notorious politicization and double standards.
The history of Russia-U.S. relations has seen many examples where effective interaction between intelligence agencies helped prevent major attacks and saved lives of innocent citizens. In this regard, we are grateful to our American colleagues for the valuable information that was instrumental in deterring terrorist attacks in St. Petersburg in 2017 and 2019.
We hope that such contacts will only grow stronger, and over time will be complemented by useful discussions within the framework of the bilateral dialogue on counterterrorism, which was carried out under the auspices of the foreign ministries in 2018-2019.
The Russian Side is ready to revive the mentioned format. This is our natural priority. We should put aside all contradictions and disputes and cooperate for the benefit of security and prosperity of not just Russia and the United States, but all of humanity. The status of the UN Security Council permanent members makes it incumbent on our countries.
Today, as before, Russia grieves together with the United States and shares the pain of those who lost their relatives and beloved ones. We will never forget those bloody events in New York.
The memory of the victims will always remain in our hearts.