A senior Russian lawmaker said on Wednesday that the U.S. is mistaken if it thinks Russia will back the United States at the U.N. Security Council as the latter seeks to garner international support for its offensive against the Islamic State, formerly known as ISIS, in Iraq and Syria.
Last week, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had called on Russia to help the U.S. counter the rise of the Islamic State, but Russia had denounced the plan stating that the move "would be an act of aggression, a gross violation of international law," the Moscow Times had reported.
Alexei Pushkov, head of Russia's State Duma foreign affairs committee, called Kerry's request "strange" and said, according to ITAR-TASS: "The weakening world hegemon, which fails to react towards all the international challenges, now needs our support in the fight against the so-called Islamic State in the Middle East, also in the framework of the UN Security Council."
"The US, Brussels and the European capitals should make a choice what they think Russia is for them - a country which they…are trying to make a pariah state or a country with which they need to cooperate to control the extremely difficult processes in various parts of the world," Pushkov added.
Over the past several months, several American leaders have condemned Russia's alleged role in fomenting a crisis in eastern Ukraine, and the U.S., along with the European Union, has slapped several economic and political sanctions against Russia over the issue.
On Wednesday, Australia too urged Russia and China to join the international coalition against the Islamic State. Earlier this month, Australia had promised to ramp up sanctions against Russia over its role in Ukraine.
"I hope that China and Russia will see that a prudent and proportionate role is appropriate and that our efforts will be with the consent and in full coordination with the Iraqi government," Julie Bishop, Australia's foreign minister, said, according to the Wall Street Journal.