Russian, US General Staff Chiefs to meet in Baku
Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US Armed Forces, and Gen. Valery Gerasimov, Chief of the Russian General Staff, are expected to meet in Baku on February 16 to discuss the importance of communication between the military – Russian RIA Novosti news agency reported with reference to the Pentagon press office.
Dunford and Gerasimov will meet for the first time. Before that, they talked to each other onthe phone just once.
“Coordinated agenda provides for discussion of the current state and future prospects of defense cooperation between Russia and the USA, as well as the issues of prevention of incidents related to the parties’ military activities,” Interfax news agency was told in the RF Defense Ministry’sInformation Department, on the eve.
“The Defense Ministers will address a wide range of issues, including current state of the US-Russia defense ties and the importance of regular, clear communication between the agencies for prevention of miscounts and potential crisis situations,” reads the report.
Azerbaijani President, Ilham Aliyev, received the U.S. degelation on February 16.
The New York Times found out the reasons for holding Dunford-Gerasimov meeting in Baku.
As the newspaper reported with reference to the U.S. offical sources, the Russian side suggested that General Dunford come to Moscow or to Belarus for the meeting. The Pentagon, in turn, preferred to hold a meeting in Western Europe.
This, however, was hardly possible, because the European Union imposed a travel ban on General Gerasimov for his role in orchestrating the Russian military intervention in Ukraine.
Finally, it was decided to hold the meeting in Baku.