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Russian, US top brass meet in Helsinki to discuss European security

June 08, 19:09 UTC+3

According to the official program, later in the day they are to be received by Finnish President Sauli Niinisto

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MOSCOW, June 8. /TASS/. Russian Chief of the General Staff Army General Valery Gerasimov has held a meeting with Finland’s Chief of Defense General Jarmo Lindberg, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on Friday, adding that the parties had discussed the European security situation.

"On June 8, talks between Russian Chief of the General Staff Army General Valery Gerasimov and Finland’s Chief of Defense General Jarmo Lindberg took place in Helsinki," the statement reads. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the parties had "a thorough discussion of the European security situation." They also "emphasized the importance of a direct telephone line established last November, which helps build mutual trust and increase transparency amid growing military activities in the Baltic Sea area."

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the two generals exchanged views on ways to prevent military incidents and the situation in Syria, also touching upon bilateral cooperation. "The meeting took place in a constructive atmosphere," the statement adds.

Earlier on Friday, Helsinki hosted a meeting between Gerasimov and US Joint Chiefs Chairman General Joseph Dunford, who discussed various aspects of resolving the Syria issue and ways to ease tensions and ensure security in Europe.

The round-the-clock direct communications line established by Russia’s National Defense Management Center and the Defense Staff of the Finnish Armed Forces established to prevent incidents at sea and in the air, was put into operation on November 1, 2017.

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