Dunford to Meet With Russian Chief of General Staff

Cheryl Sanders
February 17, 2017

"Russian military relations and the importance of consistent and clear military-to-military communication to prevent miscalculation and potential crisis".

The chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff will meet with his Russian counterpart Thursday, the Pentagon said. "The leaders further agreed to enhance communications on such stabilizing measures".

The United States and Russian Federation already have a channel for avoiding each other in the crowded airspace over Syria.

But on the same day in Brussels, Mr. Mattis was sounding a more confrontational tone, telling North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders there was very little doubt the country's intelligence agencies deliberately interfered in the USA presidential elections.

The Baku summit between Gen. Dunford and Russian Army Gen. Valery Makarov Thursday was the first such powwow since the Pentagon cut military ties with Russia after its annexation of Crimea in 2014.

"We are ready to restore cooperation with the Pentagon", minister Sergei Shoigu said in a statement.

The meeting takes place as Trump's administration battles to fend off reports that aides had repeated contact with Russian intelligence during the presidential campaign.

"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 or a way forward", he told reporters.

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