Rus­sia warns US ahead of mil­i­tary chiefs’ meet­ing

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE -

Rus­sia’s de­fense min­is­ter warned Wash­ing­ton on Thurs­day not to try to ne­go­ti­ate with Moscow “from a po­si­tion of strength” ahead of the first meet­ing be­tween their mil­i­tary chiefs since Don­ald Trump be­came US pres­i­dent.

“We are ready to re­store co­op­er­a­tion with the Pentagon,” De­fense Min­is­ter Sergei Shoigu said in a state­ment.

“But at­tempts to build a di­a­logue from a po­si­tion of strength in re­la­tion to Rus­sia have no prospects.”

Shoigu was re­spond­ing to com­ments new Pentagon chief James Mat­tis made to NATO on Wed­nes­day.

“We re­main open to op­por- tu­ni­ties to re­store a co­op­er­a­tive re­la­tion­ship with Moscow, while be­ing re­al­is­tic in our ex­pec­ta­tions and en­sur­ing our diplo­mats ne­go­ti­ate from a po­si­tion of strength,” Mat­tis said in Brussels.

The com­ments come as Chair­man of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Joe Dun­ford is set to hold talks with his Rus­sian coun­ter­part Valery Gerasi­mov in Azer­bai­jan’s cap­i­tal, Baku.

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.

Un­der the ad­min­is­tra­tion of for­mer pres­i­dent Barack Obama, ties be­tween Rus­sia and the US slumped to their low­est point since the Cold War over Moscow’s diplo­macy with Ukraine and in­ter­ven­tion in Syria.

Trump has re­peat­edly held out the prospect of co­op­er­at­ing with Rus­sia in the fight against the Is­lamic State group, a goal that the Krem­lin has long pushed for.

The Pentagon said Dun­ford and Gerasi­mov will dis­cuss “the im­por­tance of con­sis­tent and clear mil­i­tary-to-mil­i­tary com­mu­ni­ca­tion to pre­vent mis­cal­cu­la­tion and po­ten­tial crises”.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.