Top US and Russian generals to meet in Helsinki

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The Finnish Defence Forces said they will organise a meeting between the High Command of the US Armed Forces and the Russian Armed Forces in Helsinki on Friday at their request.

The US delegation will be led by General Joseph F. Dunford, while Army General Valery Gerasimov will head the Russian delegation.

Finland will not participate in the meeting but both the US and Russia will hold bilateral meetings with President Sauli Niinistö and Jarmo Lindberg, the Commander of the Finnish Defence Forces.

Why Finland?
The High Command of the US Armed Forces and the Russian Armed Forces will gather in Helsinki, Finland, on Friday. (Kari Ahotupa/Yle)

Mika Aaltola from the Finnish Institute of International Affairs said Finland was asked to organise the meeting because of its good reputation.

“Helsinki is a good meeting place, because it offers a peaceful environment and enables participants to focus on the matters at hand,” Aaltola said.

Aaltola said he believes the officials will discuss the current hot spots of global politics, including Syria and the Ukraine, in their annual meeting.

”The meeting shows that the dialogue between the major powers has not completely broken off despite the many issues where they do not see eye to eye,” he added.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Canada extends air defence monitoring zone to entire Canadian Arctic, Radio Canada International

Denmark: Denmark’s new defence agreement renews focus on protecting the Baltic, Radio Canada International

Finland: Finland, Sweden and US building three-way defence ties, Yle News

Norway: Norway blames Russian troops for GPS jamming near border, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Russian sub test-fires largest volley of nuclear missiles since Cold War, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Sweden issues first brochure on war and crisis preparedness since Cold War, Radio Sweden

United States: American fighter jets intercept Russian bombers outside Alaska, Alaska Public Media

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