US, Russian diplomats to hold talks to calm down tensions

Thomas Shannon, U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, will hold talks with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov in Helsinki, Finland on Sunday to calm down diplomatic tensions and to address areas of bilateral concerns.

TASS Russian news agency quoted the U.S. Department of State statement.”Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas A. Shannon, Jr. will travel to Helsinki, Finland September 10-12 where he will meet with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov to address areas of bilateral concern and cooperation,”

This comes after Moscow issued an order stating US to reduce its diplomatic presence in Russia by several hundred people to which Trump administration responded by ordering Russia to close its consulate in San Francisco and two annexes in Washington and New York.

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Shannon “will also lead the U.S. inter-agency delegation to the U.S-Russia Strategicability Talks,” it stated.

“Under Secretary Shannon will also meet senior Finnish officials, including President Sauli Niinist·, to discuss a range of bilateral and global issues, following the Finnish President’s visit to the White House on August 28,” the statement added.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s visit to Moscow in April 2017 has led to the setting up of a channel of communication between Ryabkov and Shannon. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov later said that these contacts marked “a useful and business-like approach.”


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