by Staff Writers
Moscow (AFP) Feb 28, 2017
Senior Russian and British military officials held rare talks in Moscow on Tuesday aimed at avoiding clashes and lowering tensions that have spiked to their highest levels since the Cold War.
Russia's deputy chief of staff Alexander Zhuravlyov and his British counterpart, vice chief of staff Gordon Messenger, "discussed the state and prospects for re-establishing military cooperation", the Russian defence ministry said in a statement.
Ties between Russia and Britain have frayed in the wake of Moscow's seizure of Crimea from Ukraine and its military intervention in Syria.
The statement said the talks focused on "possible steps to lower tensions, develop mutual trust and prevent incidents during military activities".
Britain's Ministry of Defence called the meeting "an important opportunity in terms of managing risk and avoiding miscalculation."
"They discussed military issues including opportunities to reduce risks in the conduct of our respective defence activity," it said in a statement.
Russia is carrying out a bombing campaign in Syria to support the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, while Britain is part of a US-led coalition targeting the Islamic State group.
Moscow and the coalition have a "deconfliction" system in place to avoid mid-air collisions or clashes over Syria, but they do not coordinate their strikes.
Britain has been one of the strongest opponents of Russian aggression in Ukraine and has sent troops to eastern Europe to bolster NATO's presence in the region.
Officials in London have also been on edge as British jets have repeatedly been scrambled in response to a reported increase in Russian manoeuvres near Britain.
Moscow (Sputnik) Feb 28, 2017
United States President Donald Trump was correct in his assessment that the North Atlantic Alliance is outdated, Associate Professor in International Politics at the Universiteit Antwerpen Tom Sauer asserted, saying that the bloc should be replaced by a new security organization that will encompass countries in Europe and Asia. "NATO should be transformed or even be replaced by a new Euras ... read more
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