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Pentagon Encouraged by Russia’s Statements on MOU Discussions

CC0 / / The Pentagon, headquarters of the U.S. Department of Defense
The Pentagon, headquarters of the U.S. Department of Defense - Sputnik International
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Pentagon spokesperson Michelle Baldanza said that the department was encouraged by Russia’s statements on upcoming discussions about Moscow’s return to full participation in the memorandum on the prevention of incidents in Syrian airspace.

Russian Presidential Secretary Dmitri Peskov has officially denied a claim made by the press office of Ukraine's president, which stated that in the course of a recent telephone conversation in the Normandy Four format, President Vladimir Putin had proposed sending Russian peacekeepers to Donbass. - Sputnik International
Kremlin Notes Increased Risk Due to Suspended Air Safety MoU With US
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US Department of Defense is encouraged by Russia’s statements on upcoming discussions about Moscow’s return to full participation in the memorandum on the prevention of incidents in Syrian airspace (MOU), Pentagon spokesperson Michelle Baldanza told Sputnik.

Earlier on Friday, chief of the Russian General Staff's Main Operational Directorate Col. Gen. Sergei Rudskoy said the Russian Defense Ministry will soon discuss with the US military Russia's return to full participation in the MOU.

"The DoD [Department of Defense] is encouraged by these statements as this line of de-confliction communication enhances the safety of all air crews operating over Syria," Baldanza said on Friday.

The MOU on air safety over Syria between the armed forces of Russia and the United States has been in effect since October 2015.

On April 7, Russia said it would suspend cooperation on the deconfliction channel due to US missile strikes on the Syrian government’s Ash Sha’irat airbase.

President Donald Trump ordered the strikes in response to the chemical weapons attack in Syria’s Idlib province two days earlier, for which the White House blames Damascus.

On April 12, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in a press conference with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that Moscow was willing to reactivate the line if the United States reaffirms the goal of combating terrorism.

US Department of State spokesperson Mark Toner said on April 13 that the deconfliction channel was reinstated and remains in effect.

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