Pentagon chief and Russian defense minister talk for the first time since February 18


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Lloyd Austin calls on Sergei Shoigu to “immediately” ceasefire in Ukraine

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, d
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on Victory Day.EFE
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US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Friday urged Russian Defense Secretary Sergei Shoigu to take immediate action to enforce a ceasefire in Ukraine, the Pentagon said.

“Secretary Austin called for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine and stressed the importance of maintaining lines of communication,” the Defense Department said in a statement.

The Pentagon did not elaborate on the content of the talks, the first since February 18, six days before Russian forces invaded Ukraine.

The call came at the time of fighting in eastern and southern Ukraine, and Pentagon says Russia is weeks behind schedule on the objectives set out in their war plan.

But Moscow has shown no signs of retreating and Western intelligence believes it wants to control a wide area of ​​southern Ukraine that stretches along the Black Sea to Moldova.

The talks took place even as Finland and Sweden expressed their desire to join NATO, a direct result of Russia’s attack on Ukraine, which is not part of the Atlantic Alliance.

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