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Pentagon Still Sees 'Great Many Barriers' to Restore Military Ties With Russia

Sputnik News

23:26 17.02.2017

Despite holding a meeting between the Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford and his Russian counterpart, the Pentagon still sees numerous obstacles to restoring military-to-military relations with Russia.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Legal and practical considerations hamper the normalization of military-to-military relations between the United States and Russia, US Department of Defense spokesperson Jeff Davis said in a briefing on Friday.

"We have legal considerations and practical considerations," Davis said. "Legally, we have got NDAA [National Defense Authorization Act] limits to the amount of cooperation we can do, and from a practical matter… there are still great many barriers to us being able to have a closer relationship with them militarily."

On Thursday, Dunford met with the head of the Russian General Staff Valery Gerasimov in Baku, Azerbaijan, to discuss military relations and ways to avoid crises.

Davis explained during the briefing that the US position is "primarily driven by their own conduct in Crimea, Ukraine and elsewhere."

He noted, however, that the United States and Russia continue to communicate through the deconfliction channel for operations in Syria.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Gerasimov and Dunford outlined vectors of joint work aimed at easing tensions and preventing military incidents.

US Secretary of Defense James Mattis was not involved in planning the meeting, which constituted appropriate exchange of views, David added.


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