The United States on Friday told Russia “the importance of maintaining lines of communication” in a phone call between the two countries’ defense ministers as they discussed the war in Ukraine.
According to the Pentagon, in that conversation, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Shoigu, that the respective governments should keep communication channels open as tensions rise between Washington and Moscow.
The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed the call, saying “various international security issues, including the situation in Ukraine,” were addressed.
It was the second conversation between the two security officials since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24 and another phone call on May 13.
Austin spoke with Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov “to reiterate America’s unwavering commitment to supporting Ukraine’s ability to resist Russian aggression,” Pentagon spokesman Gen. Pat Ryder said.
U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said the U.S. would maintain ties with Russia, but that broader diplomacy depended on President Vladimir Putin’s interest in “ceasing aggression” against Ukraine.
“We don’t see evidence of that at this point. On the contrary, we see Russia doubling and tripling its aggression,” Blinken said at a joint press conference with French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna.
In this sense, the American president mentioned the recent Russian attacks against power plants and other civilian infrastructure in Ukraine and the partial mobilization of troops, which he considered “horrific” because it is “cannon fodder Putin is trying to introduce in the war”.
“The fundamental difference is that Ukrainians are fighting for their country, for their land, for their future. Russia is not. The sooner President Putin understands this and comes to that conclusion, the sooner we can end this war.” , Blinken announced. .
The US Secretary of State last met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in January this year to warn of the consequences of the invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow carried out a month later.
Since then, Blinken has refused to meet with Lavrov, but the two spoke by phone in July in an effort to free U.S. citizens stranded in Russia.
Washington accuses Moscow of violating international law with its “unjustified” invasion of Ukraine, as well as condemning attempts by Russian interference in US election processes.
Russia accuses the US and Western allies of trying to prolong the conflict in Ukraine by providing financial and military aid to Kiev.
Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin made it clear that there was “no need” to talk to his US counterpart, Joe Biden, although he did not rule out the possibility that it could be held on the sidelines of a summit. The G20 is scheduled for Indonesia in mid-November.
The military offensive launched by Russia in Ukraine on February 24 has already displaced more than 13 million people — more than six million internally displaced people and more than 7.5 million to European countries — according to the latest UN data, which ranks Europe’s worst refugee crisis since World War II (1939-1945).
The Russian invasion – justified by Russian President Vladimir Putin with the need to “denazify” and militarize Ukraine for Russia’s security – was condemned by the generality of the international community, which blamed Russia for sending weapons to Ukraine. Political and economic barriers.
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