Prior to the formal "2+2" sessions, Secretary Hagel and Russian Minister of Defense Shoygu held their first meeting together as defense counterparts. Secretary Hagel began by noting it is the responsibility of major powers to find a way forward on the key issues facing our nations and the world. Secretary Hagel and Minister Shoygu agreed that it is time to build a more robust agenda for military cooperation and directed their staffs to put together a plan for more regular and frequent engagement.
Secretary Hagel stated that the Department of Defense is determined to overcome impediments to deeper cooperation by concluding necessary enabling agreements that will allow for improved information sharing, exchanges, joint exercises, and training.
Secretary Hagel discussed the United States and NATO approach to supporting security and stability in Afghanistan post 2014. The leaders also exchanged views on Syria and the importance of supporting a political process to end the violence.