Voices from Russia

Friday, 7 April 2017

Minoborony Rossii to Suspend Communications Hotline with Pentagon as of 8 April

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On Friday, Major-General I Ye Konashenkov, Head of the Minoborony Rossii Department of Information and Mass Communications, told reporters that as of 8 April the Minoborony Rossii would suspend a communications hotline with the Pentagon, saying:

About an hour ago, we summoned the US military attaché in Moscow to the Minoborony to get an official note, which said the Russian side was suspending as of 00.00 8 April observing its obligations under the memorandum of understanding on preventing incidents and ensuring flight safety in the course of operations in the Syrian Arab Republic.

General Konashenkov refuted US media reports claiming Russia decided to keep the hotline open. He said that the Minoborony sent an appropriate notification to the Pentagon via military-diplomatic channels earlier on Friday. Reports on plans to suspend contacts in the format of the memorandum emerged on Friday afternoon. The Russian side made the step after the USA delivered a strike with Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian airbase in Shayrat. The sides signed the memorandum in October 2015. It spells out rules and restrictions to prevent incidents between Russian and US aircraft in the skies over Syria. The two countries maintained round-the-clock operative communications and specified a mechanism of mutual contacts inclusive of mutual assistance and aid in critical situations.

7 April 2017

TASS

http://tass.com/defense/940208

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