Gen. Mark Milley, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, met his Russian counterpart Valery Gerasimov in Finland amid heightened tensions between Washington and Moscow, according to authorities.
While the agenda of Wednesday’s meeting was not made public, Milley’s spokesperson told the media that the two officials discussed efforts to improve communications between the US and Russia as well as how to reduce potential risk factors, reports Xinhua news agency.
Although the meeting was held at the Finnish government premises at Konigstedt Manor in Vantaa, near Helsinki, Finland was not represented in the meeting.
A media representative for Milley was quoted by Finnish national radio as saying that in the meeting the talks continued aiming at “increasing communication and reducing risks”.
Russian news agency TASS quoted the country’s Defence Ministry as saying that during the meeting the two sides addressed “issues of mutual interest, including reducing the risk of incidents during military activities”.
“Despite the ongoing and occasionally contentious disagreements between the US and Russia on Ukraine, cyberattacks, and the Arctic, the purpose of the meeting was to improve dialogue and deconfliction between the two militaries,” a CNN report said.