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US, Russian diplomats to hold talks in Helsinki

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov will meet U.S. Under Secretary of State Thomas Shannon in Finland on 11-12 September, news agencies report.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who are expected to meet this month in NY on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly, charged Shannon and Ryabkov earlier this year with exploring ways to resolve bilateral disputes that are hindering broader cooperation on strategic and security issues, such as the war in Syria and the conflict in Ukraine.

Earlier, AP said about a possible meeting of the diplomats, referring to the US officials.

"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", it reads.

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.

Relations between Moscow and Washington are at their lowest point since the Cold War, strained by Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the subsequent separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine, developments which led Washington to impose economic sanctions on Russian Federation.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and Under Secretary of State Thomas Shannon.



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