Russian, US military chiefs meet in Finland

Russia’s chief of the military’s General Staff and First Deputy Defense Minister Gen. Valery Gerasimov met on Friday in Finland with chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford. They discussed the settlement of the Syrian crisis, including bilateral relations there and issues of preventing incidents, the Russian Defense Ministry said. The military chiefs noted the importance of a speedy stabilization of the situation in Syria, according to the statement. It said that during a constructive discussion, they touched upon the issues of reducing tension and ensuring security in Europe. Gerasimov also met separately on Friday with Finland’s military chief, Gen. Jarmo Lindberg, to discuss European security. In November of last year, Moscow and Helsinki established a direct telephone line between the militaries to strengthen mutual trust and increase transparency amid increased military activity in the Baltic Sea region.