Russian Defence Ministry: Moscow to discuss missile defense in Washington to strengthen military cooperation

Russian Chief of General Staff Army Gen. Nikolai Makarov will visit Washington to exchange opinions on military cooperation with the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, the Russian Defense Ministry's press service told Interfax.

"The Russian chief of general staff will hold negotiations with Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Martin Dempsey in line with the agenda of the visit which will take place on July 10-13," the press service said in a statement.

The parties will exchange opinions on the state of affairs and prospects for military cooperation, as well as assessments of key issues on the global and regional security agendas, it reads.

Makarov is expected to discuss consequences of the 'Arab spring' and the situation in the Asian Pacific region as part of his visit to Washington.

"'Hot spot' on the map are well-known. I do not think we will differ with U.S. colleagues on their definition. These are primarily North Africa and the Middle East. Consequences of the 'Arab spring' and its influence on the regional security is another topic for discussion with U.S. colleagues," Makarov told journalists.

The parties will also discuss "the situation in the Asian Pacific region, to which the United States has paid more and more interest lately," he said.

Besides, Russian and U.S. military interact on a large number of issues with a focus on problems the resolution of which would improve the security of Russia and the United States, Russian Chief of General Staff Army Gen. Nikolai Makarov added.

"We hold joint drills and exercises almost every year. For example, the Vigilant Eagle exercise is scheduled for this August," Makarov said.

"The goal is this exercise is to drill interaction between Air Forces in case terrorists capture an aircraft," he said, recalling that the first stage of the exercise took place in Russia's Far East last year.

"Our interaction indicates that cooperation in such critical situations is needed. A new stage of the exercise will take place this year, and tasks will be more difficult," he said.

Makarov admitted that there are problems in Russian-U.S. relations. "The key one is the deployment the U.S.' global missile defense system," he said.

"Assessments of its possible influence on the strategic stability so far differ," he added.

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