WASHINGTON, July 18. /TASS/. The Pentagon is refraining from commenting on reports claiming that US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is gearing up for talks with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Lt-Col Michelle Baldanza, a spokesperson for the US Department of Defense told TASS on Tuesday.
When a correspondent requested a comment from her on the matter, she said they did not have information on the issue at the moment but would send a signal if some changes took place.
Reuters quoted officials earlier as saying Mattis was "open to the possibility of the first talks since 2015, between the defense chiefs of the US and Russia", calling them "a move that would deepen communications between Washington and Moscow."
Earlier, Russia and the US downgraded their highest-level military discussions since 2015 to the level of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine General Joseph Dunford, and the Chief of the Russian Armed Forces’ General Staff, General Valery Gerasimov.