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Trump, Mattis divided over Russia

President Donald Trump's embrace of Russia is in sharp contrast to the stance of Trump's Defense Secretary James Mattis. CNN's Barbara Starr has more.

Posted: Jul 18, 2018 8:26 PM
Updated: Jul 18, 2018 8:38 PM

US Secretary of Defense James Mattis is open to talks with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Shoigu, but there are currently no plans for such a conversation, a US defense official tells CNN.

Earlier on Tuesday, a spokesman for the Russian Ministry of Defense said his country was ready for the "implementation of the agreements reached between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump" following the two leaders' meeting Monday in Helsinki, Finland.

RELATED: US offers no details as Russia claims Trump and Putin reached military agreements

The Russian military "is ready to intensify contacts with the US colleagues in the General Staff and other available channels to discuss the extension of the START treaty, cooperation in Syria, as well as other issues of ensuring military security," spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said.

Prior to the Trump-Putin meeting a Pentagon spokesman had denied a claim by Shoigu that he had invited Mattis for talks but had been turned down.

"We have not received an invitation from Minister Shoigu requesting to meet with Secretary Mattis," Defense Department spokesman Eric Pahon told CNN last week.

Mattis has been the Trump administration's most consistent and harshest critic of Russia, accusing Moscow last month of seeking to shatter NATO and "undermine America's moral authority"

Talks between a US defense secretary and his Russian counterpart have not taken place since 2015.

High-level talks between the US and Russian militaries are currently conducted by Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and his Russian counterpart, Gen. Valery Gerasimov. The two generals last spoke on the phone on June 14, a week after an in-person meeting in Helsinki, Finland.

While their governments have fraught ties, the two military chiefs have developed a quiet relationship to ensure military relations remain as stable as possible. They often discuss not only bilateral relations but also operations in Syria, where the two sides often operate in close proximity and deconfliction measures are maintained.

In response to the 2014 Russian military incursion in Ukraine and its seizure of Crimea, Congress prohibited "any bilateral military-to-military cooperation" with Russia in its passage of the National Defense Authorization Act.

Reuters was first to report Mattis' willingness to talk to his Russian counterpart.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 513622

Reported Deaths: 10264
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34892556
DeSoto33234432
Hinds32638641
Jackson24854389
Rankin22507403
Lee16337242
Madison14922283
Jones14113247
Forrest13766259
Lauderdale12270324
Lowndes11305193
Lamar10659140
Pearl River9719244
Lafayette8846143
Hancock7836132
Washington7550169
Oktibbeha7210138
Monroe7010179
Pontotoc6990109
Warren6863178
Panola6759134
Neshoba6730210
Marshall6678141
Bolivar6445151
Union638297
Pike5928156
Alcorn5879107
Lincoln5530136
George510180
Prentiss503884
Tippah491482
Itawamba4844107
Scott477899
Adams4768125
Tate4756116
Leflore4729144
Copiah456495
Yazoo456491
Simpson4546117
Wayne443072
Covington433695
Sunflower4299106
Marion4277112
Coahoma4237109
Leake413990
Newton395781
Tishomingo383593
Grenada3777109
Stone365866
Jasper340666
Attala338290
Winston317892
Chickasaw315467
Clay312278
Clarke301195
Calhoun285049
Holmes271889
Smith269052
Yalobusha243947
Tallahatchie231553
Greene224749
Walthall221666
Lawrence218740
Perry213456
Amite209857
Webster205348
Noxubee188742
Montgomery181657
Carroll174541
Jefferson Davis173643
Tunica163239
Benton152939
Kemper145041
Choctaw136727
Claiborne134338
Humphreys131239
Franklin125529
Quitman107628
Wilkinson105939
Jefferson96934
Sharkey65221
Issaquena1957
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 845284

Reported Deaths: 16116
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1161552006
Mobile742111380
Madison53307732
Shelby38338368
Baldwin38085589
Tuscaloosa36022641
Montgomery34492781
Lee25562263
Calhoun22586518
Morgan22459406
Etowah20018517
Marshall18782316
Houston17731425
St. Clair16884358
Limestone16148218
Cullman16054303
Elmore15904294
Lauderdale14989306
Talladega14196299
DeKalb12972269
Walker12030380
Blount10717192
Autauga10517157
Jackson10162194
Coffee9417192
Colbert9342208
Dale9020191
Tallapoosa7256201
Russell708165
Chilton7018170
Escambia6957143
Covington6933195
Franklin6342108
Chambers5784142
Marion5406130
Dallas5285209
Pike5119109
Clarke484986
Lawrence4826129
Winston4780110
Geneva4642136
Bibb434094
Barbour369580
Butler3435100
Marengo342493
Monroe337266
Randolph334867
Pickens333188
Fayette330385
Henry320666
Hale318389
Cherokee317863
Crenshaw260477
Washington257052
Cleburne254460
Lamar251453
Clay250869
Macon244864
Conecuh192862
Coosa185047
Lowndes178168
Wilcox177438
Bullock152645
Perry141840
Sumter139241
Greene130245
Choctaw93228
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