FILE - Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) shakes hands with U.S. National security adviser John Bolton as Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (L-background), and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov are seen in the background, during their mee
FILE - Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) shakes hands with U.S. National security adviser John Bolton as Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (L-background), and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov are seen in the background, during their mee

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Friday he was considering the possibility of the first talks in years between the defense chiefs of the United States and Russia, a possibility first reported by Reuters on July 17.

"I am considering meeting with my counterpart, but there's been no decision," Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon.

The last time a U.S. defense secretary even spoke telephonically with a Russian defense minister was in 2015, as relations between Moscow and Washington soured. It was not immediately clear when the last face-to-face meeting took place.