LONDON, March 13 (Itar-Tass) – The Russian foreign and defence ministers and their British counterparts, which are the countries currently presiding in the G20 and G8 groups, opened a session of the Strategic Dialogue here on Wednesday. The Strategic Dialogue is being held in the two-on-two format unprecedented for the relations of the two countries, spokesperson of the British Foreign Office confirmed to Itar-Tass.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu headed the Russian interdepartmental delegation, which arrived in the British capital. The negotiations with their British counterparts William Hague and Philip Hammond are being held behind closed doors, but a joint press conference is scheduled to be held at about 20:00 Moscow time on Wednesday. During the ongoing session of the Strategic Dialogue “the first eye-on-eye meeting between our defence ministers since 2004” will be held, the Russian Embassy in Britain noted.
The two-on-two format is a mechanism of consultations with the participation of the foreign and defence ministers of the countries. This format is used between Russia and international partners not for the first time. Russia has already participated in similar negotiations with France, Italy and the United States. However, the meeting in this format is held with Britain for the first time.