Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel met with Russia’s Minister of Defense Sergey Shoygu two days ago during the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Defense Ministerial in Brussels, Belgium.
The leaders discussed a range of issues of mutual interest, to include updates from the August 2+2 meeting, the rationale for pursuing missile defense cooperation, the situation in Syria, and the United States’ and Russia’s shared interest in supporting security and stability in Afghanistan post 2014.
Secretary Hagel assured Minister Shoygu that the United States’ missile defense efforts pose no threat to Russia, and he encouraged Russia to consider joint initiatives that increase transparency and provide for mutually beneficial cooperation; enhancing our mutual strategic stability.
Secretary Hagel highlighted the progress in the implementation of the U.S.-Russia Framework, and the important strides made to reach consensus on how to address Syria’s chemical weapons program. He encouraged Minister Shoygu to continue working with Syria to ensure its full cooperation with the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
Press Release, October 25, 2013; Image: US Navy