Fresh off of French President Francois Hollande’s visit to Moscow to try to assemble a “grand coalition” against ISIS, government spokesman Dmitry Peskov says that Russia does not believe the US-led coalition is “ready” to merge into a single anti-ISIS coalition.
This was not surprising, as the US had been seen trying to convince Hollande against pushing for the grand coalition on his visit, and insisting that EU nations need to “keep the pressure” on Russia on various issues, including the ongoing ceasefire in east Ukraine.
On the other hand, Peskov said Russia was still willing to cooperate with the US and the rest of the coalition “in any format” they are actually ready for. It seems likely this will mean increased cooperation with individual nations involved in the coalition, like France, even as the US and others keep them at arm’s length.
Russia was angling for a unified anti-ISIS coalition from the beginning of its air war in Syria, but had been repeatedly rebuffed by the Obama Administration. This month’s Paris attack has fueled renewed calls, but so far France appears to still be struggling to get everyone on board.