The US Secretary of Defense spoke to Shoigu for the first time since the invasion

In a telephone conversation with Russia’s counterpart Sergei Shoigu, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin called for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine on Friday and stressed the importance of maintaining communication channels. The Pentagon reported.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said in a statement that this was the first interview between the two ministers since February 18, which was before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The conversation, which lasted almost an hour, ended a long period in which Russia’s top military officials repeatedly refused to talk to their American counterparts.

One of the American officials said that the call initiated by the American side did not solve any specific problems, nor did it lead to direct changes in what the Russians are doing in Ukraine, writes CNN.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has lasted since February 24, but Moscow has failed to achieve its goals. For example, the Russian attack on Kyiv was repulsed in March due to strong Ukrainian resistance.

Moscow, which calls the invasion a “special military operation,” sent more troops to eastern Ukraine last month to take part in a major offensive, but Russia’s territorial gains are considered small.

US President Joe Biden on Monday expressed concern that his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin had no way to back out of the war in Ukraine. However, Moscow has made no indication that it wants to withdraw and, according to Western secret services, intends to take control of large areas in eastern and southern Ukraine.

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