Russia is interested in the reduction of the list of unfriendly countries, and not its expansion, the director of Russia's foreign intelligence service SVR, Sergey Naryshkin, told TASS on Thursday.
"I would like to tell you quite definitely that Russia is interested to see this list get shorter, and not longer," Naryshkin said, when asked if the list of unfriendly countries might be expanded in the near future.
He stressed that whether this or that country would be added to or removed from that list would depend on the awareness of the opponents and partners it is far better to cooperate with Russia and not be at odds with it.
"This [expansion or reduction of the list of unfriendly countries] will depend in the first place on whether our partners and opponents realize the fact that Russia is a truly sovereign state, that Russian society appreciates its right to sovereign development on the basis of universal humanitarian values, that it is impermissible to try to talk to Russia from the position of strength, using lies, provocations and blackmail, and that it is far better to cooperate with Russia than to be at odds with it," Naryshkin said. "It is far better to cooperate on the basis of international law and mutual respect and with due regard for the partners’ interests."
On May 14, the official portal of legal information published a Russian government-approved list of unfriendly countries. For the time being, there are two names on the list - the United States and the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic will be able to hire no more than 19 Russian citizens and citizens of third countries to work for its embassy and the United States, none.