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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: 297581

Reported Deaths: 6808
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19829231
Hinds18966395
Harrison16899283
Rankin12851265
Jackson12754234
Lee9722163
Madison9522204
Jones8042148
Forrest7295138
Lauderdale6879228
Lowndes6062140
Lamar593982
Lafayette5768114
Washington5235130
Bolivar4632124
Oktibbeha443295
Panola433798
Pearl River4219132
Warren4145115
Pontotoc411071
Marshall406595
Monroe3998129
Union397074
Neshoba3857171
Lincoln3630104
Hancock353378
Leflore3402122
Sunflower321386
Tate304674
Pike302797
Scott296771
Alcorn292763
Yazoo292266
Itawamba290775
Coahoma283169
Tippah280265
Copiah280159
Simpson277881
Prentiss271258
Marion258878
Wayne255741
Leake254572
Covington250480
Grenada248978
Adams235978
Newton233353
George232845
Winston222579
Jasper214545
Tishomingo213266
Attala210571
Chickasaw202054
Holmes183470
Clay179452
Stone173529
Tallahatchie171839
Clarke170773
Calhoun158728
Smith154333
Yalobusha146036
Greene128133
Walthall125441
Montgomery123540
Noxubee123431
Perry123335
Lawrence121621
Carroll119725
Amite112435
Webster111132
Jefferson Davis102931
Tunica99824
Claiborne99130
Benton94024
Humphreys93128
Kemper91523
Quitman77514
Franklin76520
Choctaw70317
Jefferson62927
Wilkinson62727
Sharkey49217
Issaquena1676
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 499819

Reported Deaths: 10148
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson720331403
Mobile36423741
Madison32708469
Tuscaloosa24457422
Montgomery22805523
Shelby22276219
Baldwin19935289
Lee15083161
Calhoun13963296
Morgan13801255
Etowah13419327
Marshall11460215
Houston10130264
Elmore9515190
Limestone9440139
St. Clair9057228
Cullman9000183
Lauderdale8630214
DeKalb8509175
Talladega7647165
Walker6601260
Jackson6552104
Autauga634792
Blount6256128
Colbert6010121
Coffee5261104
Dale4685107
Russell408134
Franklin400879
Covington3999107
Chilton3922104
Escambia379573
Tallapoosa3637143
Clarke344553
Chambers3434111
Dallas3428142
Pike293173
Marion288996
Lawrence286287
Winston258668
Bibb246558
Marengo245357
Geneva240670
Pickens226357
Barbour213951
Hale212969
Fayette202857
Butler201666
Henry183741
Cherokee178240
Monroe166739
Randolph165441
Washington157136
Macon147845
Crenshaw146955
Clay146254
Cleburne140341
Lamar133933
Lowndes133151
Wilcox123125
Bullock117736
Conecuh107224
Perry106427
Sumter101032
Coosa90324
Greene88932
Choctaw56123
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