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Russia's top general talks with NATO counterpart for 1st time since 2014

The Russian Defence Ministry says the nation's top military officer has spoken to his NATO counterpart for the first time in several years.

High-level chat covers concerns about military buildups along Russian border and need to reduce tensions

Russian chief of general staff Gen. Valery Gerasimov discussed the prevention of incidents with NATO counterpart Gen Petr Pavel of the Czech army. (Ozan Kose/AFP/Getty Images)

The Russian Defence Ministry says the country's top military officer has spoken to his NATO counterpart for the first time in several years.

The ministry said Gen. Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the General Staff of the Russian armed forces, had a phone call Friday with Czech Army Gen. Petr Pavel, the chairman of NATO's Military Committee.

It was the first such high-level contact since NATO suspended a dialogue with Russia in 2014 over Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea and support for a separatist insurgency in eastern Ukraine.

The ministry said Gerasimov and Pavel discussed prevention of incidents, prospects for restoring military co-operation and acute security issues.

It said Gerasimov relayed Moscow's concerns about NATO's buildup near Russian borders and the generals confirmed the need for joint steps to reduce tensions.

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