Russian President Vladimir Putin and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu attend a Defense Ministry board meeting in Moscow, Russia Dec. 22, 2016. Sputnik/Kremlin/Alexei Nikolskyi via REUTERS
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Russia's defense minister Thursday warned Washington not to try to negotiate with Moscow "from a position of strength" ahead of the first meeting between their military chiefs since Donald Trump became U.S. president.Shoigu was responding to a comment to NATO by new Pentagon chief James Mattis Wednesday in which he said Washington wanted to make sure its diplomats had the upper hand in any talks with Russia.Ties between Russia and the U.S. have slumped to their lowest point since the Cold War over Moscow's meddling in Ukraine and intervention in Syria.
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