19:23 GMT04 July 2020
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    According to a former NATO Commander, the US military needs to reestablish dialogue with Russia to avoid incidents involving aircraft and ships.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US military needs to reestablish dialogue with Russian counterparts to avoid incidents involving aircraft and ships, former NATO Commander Gen. Philip Breedlove said on Thursday at a Senate committee hearing.

    "It makes great sense for our government to have meaningful discussions and meetings with Russia," Breedlove said. "The most urgent matter concerns Moscow’s current practice in flying warplanes dangerously close and without their transponders on into the incursions between our aircraft and their ships."

    Breedlove noted that the United States needs to "reestablish substantive communication between our two militaries in order to avoid such incidents."

    Moreover, President Donald Trump should meet with NATO partners prior to meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin to underscore the US commitment to the military alliance, Breedlove added.

    "To underscore our commitment to the alliance, it would make sense for the president [Trump] to first meet with his NATO colleagues before seeing President Putin," Breedlove told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

    During his presidential campaign, Trump repeatedly declared NATO has become obsolete and threatened to decrease US support to European NATO members who have failed to fulfill their financial obligations, particularly related to defense spending.

    On Monday, Trump has said the United States supports NATO, but has repeatedly noted that member states should make their proper financial contributions to the alliance.


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