Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu agreed today on the need for more bilateral military cooperation and directed their respective staffs to draw up plans to make it happen, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said in a statement.
Before the start of today's formal "2+2" sessions -- which include Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov -- Hagel and Shoygu held their first meeting as defense counterparts, Little said, noting Hagel began by stating it is "the responsibility of major powers to find a way forward on the key issues facing our nations and the world."
"Secretary Hagel and Minister Shoygu agreed that it is time to build a more robust agenda for military cooperation and directed their staffs to put together a plan for more regular and frequent engagement," Little said. "Secretary Hagel stated that the Department of Defense is determined to overcome impediments to deeper cooperation by concluding necessary enabling agreements that will allow for improved information sharing, exchanges, joint exercises, and training. Secretary Hagel discussed the United States and NATO approach to supporting security and stability in Afghanistan post 2014. The leaders also exchanged views on Syria and the importance of supporting a political process to end the violence."