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What did U.S. and Russian defense ministers say in first phone call after Ukraine conflict?


This is the first dialogue between the defense ministers of Russia and the United States since Russia sent troops to Ukraine. The U.S. side said it had repeatedly tried to contact since hostilities began nearly three months ago, but officials said Moscow had shown no interest.

“Secretary Austin recommended an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine and stressed the importance of maintaining lines of communication,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said.

A U.S. official said on condition of anonymity that the conference call initiated by Mr. Austin, which lasted about an hour, did not address any specific issues or lead to immediate changes related to what was happening in Ukraine.

Russia’s TASS news agency quoted the Russian Defense Ministry as saying that many international security topics, including the situation in Ukraine, were discussed during the call.