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NATO Military Committee Chair Initiated Call to Russian Chief of Staff

March 3, 2017 (EIRNS)—Today Gen. Petr Pavel (Czech Republic), the Chairman of NATO’s Military Committee, who is the highest- ranking NATO general, initiated a telephone discussion with Russian General Staff chief Valery Gerasimov. This is their first telephone conversation since relations between Russia and the West collapsed.

"These are the first high-level contacts in the military field since the adoption of the NATO Council decision to freeze relations with Russia," the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.

Gerasimov brought up Russia’s concerns with NATO’s "significantly increased military activity near Russian borders, as well as the deployment of the joint NATO forces’ forward-based system." Other issues include prospects for restoring military communications and steps toward reducing tensions in Europe.

General Gerasimov informed General Pavel about key international events and exercise organized by the Russian Defense Ministry in 2017. They also confirmed "the necessity of mutual steps aimed to decrease tensions and to build up stabilization in Europe." Both "agreed to continue cooperation."