Top US general: Meeting with Russian counterpart 'productive'

Top US general: Meeting with Russian counterpart 'productive'
© Greg Nash

Gen. Mark MilleyMark MilleyRepublicans would need a promotion to be 'paper tigers' We've left Afghanistan — but its consequences are just starting to arrive Key Iraq War strategist and former Army chief Raymond Odierno dies at 67 MORE, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said his meeting with his Russian counterpart was “productive” as the U.S. and its allies look into strategies for fighting terrorism following the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Milley met with Gen. Valery Gerasimov, chief of the Russian General Staff, on Wednesday for six hours in Helsinki.

Milley after his conversation said the meeting was “productive,” adding, “When military leaders of great powers communicate, the world is a safer place," according to The Associated Press.

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According to a readout of the meeting from Joint Staff spokesperson Col. David Butler, the gathering was “a continuation of talks aimed at improving military leadership communication between the two nations for the purposes of risk reduction and operational de-confliction.”

Butler said that in line with past practice, both officials agreed to have the details of their conversation remain private.

The conversation between the two generals comes after the U.S. completed its troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. Milley, who has been traveling through Europe this week, has been focusing on terrorism and reflecting on violent extremism in the region, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Since its withdrawal from Afghanistan, the U.S. has said it will respond to the possible existence of militant groups in the region through “over the horizon” capabilities, which refers to drones or manned aircraft that fly hundreds of miles from bases in the Gulf region, the Journal noted.

That strategy, however, deprives the U.S. military of on-the-ground coverage of Afghanistan.

President BidenJoe Biden White House: US has donated 200 million COVID-19 vaccines around the world Police recommend charges against four over Sinema bathroom protest K Street revenues boom MORE, upon announcing his decision to pull troops in April, had said he sought to create a presence in Central Asia, potentially in Uzbekistan, to help with counterterrorism operations.

The Russian government, however, has been opposed to that plan, according to the Journal, with Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinEquilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by Southern Company — Nations plan to pump oil despite net zero promises Major Russian hacking group linked to ransomware attack on Sinclair: report Putin orders workers home for one week as COVID-19 deaths soar MORE rejecting Biden's plea for a base.

Milley had said the basing situation was an essential topic for his trip in Europe, according to the AP. He had said he spoke about it with his NATO counterparts when they met in Greece this weekend.