Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov met with Japanese Ambassador to Russia Toyohisa Kozuki earlier in the day, where the envoy was briefed on the preparations for the first 48-hour humanitarian pause in Aleppo. Antonov invited his Japanese counterparts to join the mission, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.


On August 18, the Russian Defense Ministry welcomed UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura’s proposal for a 48-hour pause in fighting in Aleppo and expressed readiness to implement the first 48-hour humanitarian pause to supply the city with aid as a “pilot project.” Thursday, de Mistura said the United Nations was ready to begin humanitarian assistance deliveries to Aleppo at any time having received Russia’s agreement for the pause, but awaited guarantees from other actors on the ground.


At their meeting Thursday, Antonov additionally expressed concern to Kozuki that US missile system deployment in the Asia-Pacific negatively impacts regional and military stability.


Japan’s Ambassador to Russia Toyohisa Kozuki has been informed of the Russian Armed Forces’ snap combat readiness inspections, Antonov said.


Snap combat readiness inspections are running across Russia’s Southern, Western and Central military districts, as well as the Northern Fleet, Aerospace Forces and Airborne Troops on August 25-31.


“These exercises are carried out in strict compliance with all of Russia’s international obligations,” Antonov said as quoted by the ministry.


The ministry added that the sides positively assessed the practice of joint exercises, General Staff-level consultations and navy-to-navy interactions, as well as outlined the prospects of multilateral Asia-Pacific military cooperation.