Russian Chief of Staff Gen. Nikolai Makarov is to arrive in Washington today, for a three day visit that includes a day of talks at the Pentagon with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey. The Russian Ministry of Defense told Russian news outlets that the top item on their agenda will be the Obama Administration's missile defense plans for Europe.
RIA Novosti quotes Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov as saying on July 6 that Gen. Makarov would make yet another attempt to explain [Russia's] stance on missile defense at least at a chief of staff level. Sedyukov warned that Russia would not ignore the deployment of the elements of the U.S. missile defense in Europe and would respond adequately to any threats to its security.
The agenda of the talks between Makarov and Dempsey, RIA Novosti further reports, will also include the discussion of bilateral military cooperation, and joint assessment of regional and global security.
The meeting is taking place under the auspices of the Military Cooperation Working Group of the US-Russia Bilateral Commission. There have been at least two previous such chief of defense meetings as part of the MCWG since 2009, where various military cooperation issues are discussed, including joint exercises and cooperative information exchanges.