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SEPTEMBER 2020

Russia Suspends Work of Hotline with Pentagon in Syria

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Moscow has suspended work of a hotline with the Pentagon on Syria after a US missile strike on an airbase of the Syrian Air Force.

Russia Suspends Work of Hotline with Pentagon in Syria

Spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, Major General Igor Konashenkov (Photo: TASS / Press Service of the Russian Defense Ministry / Sergey Bobylev)

The Russian Defense Ministry suspends work of a hotline with the Pentagon, envisaged by the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), since April 8. A US military attache has received a corresponding note, spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, Major General Igor Konashenkov, told journalists on Friday.

“About an hour ago, the Russian military department summoned a military attache at the US Embassy in Moscow, to whom the Russian side officially handed over a note on suspension of fulfilling its obligations under the Memorandum of Understanding between the Russian Defense Ministry and the Pentagon on prevention of incidents and ensuring safety of sorties of the air power during the operation in the Syrian Arab Republic since 00:00 of April 8, 2017,” Konashenkov said.

The Major General denied reports of US media that Russia had preserved the hot line with representatives of the US military department in the framework of the Memorandum on preventing aerial incidents in Syria.

He also noted that the corresponding note had also been sent to the Pentagon via military-diplomatic channels in the afternoon of Friday.

The fact that the Russian Defense Ministry was going to stop contacts with the Pentagon within the framework of the Memorandum became known on Friday. The Russian side decided to take such a step after a strike, carried out by US destroyers with cruise missiles on an airbase of the Syrian Air Force in Shayrat.

The Memorandum was developed in October 2015. It contains a set of rules and restrictions, aimed at preventing incidents between the air powers of Russia and the US in the sky over Syria. A round-the-clock operational communication was established between the two countries, a mechanism of interaction, including mutual assistance in the event of crisis situations, was defined.

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