AP NEWS

US, Russia military chiefs to meet in Finland

June 7, 2018
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FILE - In this May 26, 2018 file photo General Joseph F. Dunford Jr., Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, gives the graduation address during graduation ceremonies at the United States Military Academy, in West Point, N.Y. The Finnish Defense Forces said Gen. Joseph Dunford, current chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Russia’s chief of the military's General Staff, Gen. Valery Gerasimov, will meet in Helsinki to discuss "current issues between the countries." (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, file)

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — The Finnish Defense Forces says a top U.S. military chief will meet his Russian counterpart in Helsinki to discuss “current issues between the countries.”

The Finnish military says the meeting Friday of Gen. Joseph Dunford, current chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Russia’s chief of the military’s General Staff, Gen. Valery Gerasimov, “takes place on the initiative of both countries.”

In Thursday’s statement, the Finns said they also will meet separately with Finland’s president and the Nordic country’s military chief. The Finns will not take part in the U.S.-Russia meeting.

In April, NATO’s top military officer, U.S. Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, met with Gerasimov in Baku for the first such encounter since relations between Moscow and the alliance sank to post-Cold War lows over the Ukrainian crisis.