US-Russia Foreign Ministry Conversation – Austin called for immediate ceasefire

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THE US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin had a phone today in contact with τον Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu The Pentagon chief called for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine and stressed the importance of maintaining communication lines, the Pentagon said.

It was the first time since the Russian invasion of Ukraine was launched on February 24 that the two top officials of the two countries communicated.

Their last contact was on February 18, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said in a statement.

Reuters reported that Austin had tried several times to talk to Soigu since the invasion began, but officials said Moscow did not seem interested in talking.

Austin stressed the importance of maintaining open lines of communication, said John Kirb.

The United States and Russia have set up an open hotline after the invasion – which Moscow calls a “special military operation” – to prevent miscalculations and escalation in the region.

The hotline for military disarmament (“red telephone”) is an open telephone line located at the headquarters of the European Command and is under the command of Air Force General Todd Walters, who leads all US forces on the continent.

The Russian news agency TASS, citing the Russian Ministry of Defense, stressed that the telephone communication was made “at the initiative of the American side.”

“Topical issues of international security were discussed, including the situation in Ukraine,” TASS quoted the ministry as saying.

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