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US State Dept confirms US, Russian senior diplomats’ upcoming meeting in Helsinki


US Department of State has confirmed that US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon will leave for Helsinki on September 10-12 to hold talks with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, the State Department said on Saturday in a press release, APA reports quoting TASS.


"Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas A. Shannon, Jr. will travel to Helsinki, Finland September 10-12 where he will meet with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov to address areas of bilateral concern and cooperation," the press release says, without specifying the exact date of the talks.


Besides, Shannon "will also lead the U.S. interagency delegation to the U.S.-Russia Strategic Stability Talks," it says.


"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.


Setting up a communications channel between Ryabkov and Shannon was one of the results of U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s visit to Moscow in April 2017. In particular, Moscow and Washington agreed that the diplomats should assess the current problems in bilateral relations. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov later said that these contacts marked "a useful and business-like approach."


The previous round of negotiations between the Russian deputy foreign minister and the U.S. undersecretary of state took place in Washington on July 17.

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