Both US and Russian defense officials are confirming some progress made on a basic understanding on air safety over Syria, where the two nations are both conducting airstrikes against ISIS, and are trying to avoid getting into a direct conflict with each other while doing so.
The understanding is expected to be extremely limited, however, as Russian FM Sergey Lavrov reported that an offer for “deeper talks” was spurned by the US, and the administration went so far as to refuse to receive a Russian delegation if one was sent to Washington to discuss Syria.
This is perhaps unsurprising, as the US has repeatedly rejected the idea of “cooperating” with Russia, and Secretary of Defense Ash Carter is openly talking about undermining Russia in every way possible. Still, for Russia to offer to send PM Dmitry Medvedev to the US, and have the offer rejected out of hand is a new step.
Russia was seeking such talks even before their airstrikes began, and while the US rejected those talks, they have also lashed Russia as “unprofessional” for carrying out the strikes without having such talks.