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US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Friday asked his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu for an “immediate” ceasefire in Ukraine, in the first telephone conversation between the two since the start of the war, he said. the Pentagon.

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

The spokesman said this was the first time the two defense officials had spoken since February 18, six days before the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

On March 1, a week after the start of the invasion, Washington established a direct line of communication with the Russian Ministry of Defense, with the aim of avoiding miscalculations, military incidents, and an escalation of tension between the two powers.

Source: With Agencies

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