U.S. won't collaborate militarily with Russia for now

U.S. won't collaborate militarily with Russia for nowU.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says his country is not ready to collaborate militarily with Russia, AP reports on Thursday.

The comment is appeared to dismiss for now on any effort to work more with Moscow in the fight against Islamic State militants in Syria.

Mattis says the U.S. will continue to engage politically with Russian President Vladimir Putin's government to try to find common ground. But he adds Russia must "prove itself" and abide by international law.

"We are not in a position right now to collaborate on a military level. But our political leaders will engage and try to find common ground," Mattis told reporters after talks at NATO headquarters in Brussels.

The U.S. ceased military to military relations with Russia in the wake of Moscow's 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region.

As a candidate, President Donald Trump repeatedly praised Putin, saying he wanted a new era of cooperation with Moscow.

Earlier on Thursday Putin called for increased intelligence cooperation with the U.S. and NATO. The Russian president said it was in the "general interest" for improved information sharing between services.

Speaking to top officials at the Federal Security Service, the Russian President said: "It's in the general interest to establish a dialogue with the special services of the United States and other member countries of NATO. We need to establish cooperation at a new level in the antiterrorist sphere with foreign partners."
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