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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: NR-076-13
December 16, 2013

Readout of Inaugural Video Teleconference Between Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Russian Minister of Defense Sergey Shoygu

Assistant Press Secretary Carl Woog provided the following readout:
 
This morning, Secretary Hagel and Russian Minister of Defense Sergey Shoygu conducted their inaugural video teleconference.  They had previously agreed to hold this teleconference on the margins of the August U.S.- Russia 2+2 meeting in order to maintain an open dialogue and defense cooperation.
 
Secretary Hagel and Minister Shoygu discussed a number of issues including missile defense, Syria, cyber security and countering improvised explosive devices.  Secretary Hagel noted that the P5+1 Joint Plan of Action does not eliminate the need for U.S. and European allies to continue implementing missile defense plans in Europe.  Secretary Hagel stressed that U.S. and NATO missile defense efforts pose no threat to Russia and urged that both sides continue consultations on future missile plans in Europe.
 
Secretary Hagel and Minister Shoygu also discussed recent planning efforts to remove chemical weapons from Syria under the auspices of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).  Secretary Hagel provided Minister Shoygu with an update on U.S. planning to neutralize the chemical weapons once removed from Syria.  Secretary Hagel encouraged Russia to stay engaged with the process and continue providing critical assistance to ensure that chemical weapons are removed on schedule.
 
Secretary Hagel and Minister Shoygu agreed to continue holding video teleconferences regularly and as needed if critical issues arise.
 
Note: A photo of Secretary Hagel speaking with Minister Shoygu can be viewed here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/secdef/11406027273/