Russian defense chief invites British counterpart for security talks

Following similar invitation from UK, Russia's Shoygu says resumption of military talks will help ease tensions in Europe.

Russian defense chief invites British counterpart for security talks

Russia's defense minister on Friday invited the UK's defense chief to Moscow for security talks in response to a similar invitation from the British side.

Following an invitation by Defense Secretary Ben Wallace that was voiced at a hearing in the UK parliament, Sergey Shoygu said the resumption of contacts between the Russian and British militaries would help ease tensions in Europe.

"Sergey Shoygu confirmed to his British counterpart his readiness to discuss all relevant security issues and, based on the principles of reciprocity, offered to hold talks in Moscow at any time convenient for the British Defense Minister," a Defense Ministry statement said, citing the minister.

Shoygu noted that the "possibility of constructive dialogue was demonstrated by the parties during the visit of the Russian delegation to London in 2013," where the defense and foreign ministers held talks in a so-called "2+2" format.

"The resumption of contacts in the spirit of goodwill between Russia and the UK will help to reduce tensions in Europe," Shoygu added.

Speaking in the House of Commons last week, Wallace said he had sent an invitation to Shoygu to visit London.

He also expressed readiness to discuss issues related to common security concerns and to conduct constructive dialogue.