On Friday, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin called on Russian envoy Sergei Shoigu to call for an “immediate” ceasefire in Ukraine, but the Pentagon said a telephone conversation between the two could not resolve “any serious problems”.
Austin “called for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine and stressed the importance of keeping the means of communication open,” the U.S. Defense Department said in a statement.
The two officials spoke “for the first time since February 18” just days before the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, without further details of the conversation, Washington added.
According to a senior Pentagon official, “the phone call did not solve any serious problem or lead to a direct change in what the Russians are doing or saying.”
The Russian Defense Ministry, for its part, said in a statement that the call was initiated by the “US side” and that the two “talked about current international security issues, including the situation in Ukraine.”
According to Washington, the call comes several weeks after the Kremlin’s advance on Russian forces’ advance against Ukrainian troops in the Donbass in the far east of Ukraine.
However, Moscow has shown no signs of recession or withdrawal, and, according to Western intelligence services, wants to control much of Ukrainian territory in the south and east of the country.
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