HELSINKI, July 9 (Xinhua) -- A deputy ministerial level meeting between the United Sates and Russia will be held in Helsinki on Wednesday, both the United States and Russian representatives confirmed to media on Tuesday.
Taking part in the meeting will be U.S. Under Secretary of State David Hale and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov.
In the U.S. State Department press release, the purpose of the meeting was described as "a preliminary meeting to launch a broad strategic political dialogue on the U.S.-Russia bilateral relationship". "We thank the government of Finland for hosting this meeting," it said.
Russian news agency TASS reported that Ryabkov confirmed the meeting would be on Wednesday. TASS quoted the U.S. release about the aims of the meeting.
There were no immediate comments from Finnish authorities in the local media as of Tuesday evening at 10 pm local time.
Meanwhile, national broadcaster Yle reported that Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met on Tuesday in Slovakia where also an unofficial foreign ministers' meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) took place.
Finnish newspaper Ilta-Sanomat quoted Russian Foreign Ministry release saying Haavisto and Lavrov talked about the cooperation between Russia and the European Union as related to the EU presidency of Finland, and exchanged views on the work of the OSCE, the Council of Europe and the situation in Ukraine.
Lavrov noted the program of the new Finnish government has been read in Moscow. "In our understanding, it has expressed the continuity of Finnish Russian relations. We are pleased with that," Lavrov was quoted as saying.
The U.S. State Department said Hale will continue to travel from Finland to neighboring Estonia on Thursday. He will then travel to Prague, Chisinau, and to London.