Home World US, Russian protection chiefs converse for 1st time since invasion

US, Russian protection chiefs converse for 1st time since invasion

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By LOLITA C. BALDOR

WASHINGTON (AP) — Russian Minister of Defense Sergey Shoygu spoke with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Friday after months of refusing direct contact together with his American counterpart. But officers stated the decision didn’t seem to sign any change in Moscow’s conflict in Ukraine.

A senior Defense Department official stated Friday that whereas Austin believes the hour-long dialog was vital within the effort to maintain strains of communication open, it didn’t resolve any “acute issues” or result in any change in what the Russian are doing or saying because the conflict enters week 12.

The name — initiated by Austin —- marked the best stage American contact with a Russian official for the reason that conflict started in late February. Over the previous a number of months, Pentagon officers have repeatedly stated that Russian leaders declined to take calls from Austin and Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

This is the primary dialog between Austin and Shoygu since Feb. 18, every week earlier than the conflict began. Another senior official stated Friday that Milley is anticipated to additionally attain out to his counterpart, Gen. Valery Gerasimov, Russian chief of the final employees.

In an announcement, the Pentagon stated that Austin “urged an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine and emphasized the importance of maintaining lines of communication.”

Several officers described the decision as a optimistic step, however stated there was no clear purpose why the Russians determined to go forward with the dialog on Friday. The protection official stated that the U.S. hopes it would function a springboard for future dialog and that it appeared that Austin’s request for future communication was acquired. The official characterised the tenor of the decision as “professional” however offered no different particulars on its content material.

Direct communications between the U.S. and Russian protection and navy leaders is taken into account essential as a way to keep away from any misunderstandings or unwarranted escalation in hostilities. The U.S. and Russia have additionally arrange a so-called deconfliction line that can be utilized by the militaries within the occasion of any emergency or perceived menace to NATO allies round Ukraine. It has not been used, however U.S. officers say that the Russians have answered the telephone throughout assessments to make sure it really works.

U.S. and different Western officers have described Russia’s combat in Ukraine, notably the trouble to wrest larger management over the jap Donbas area as greater than two weeks delayed, and failing to make constant progress.

On Friday, Russian forces suffered heavy losses in a Ukrainian assault that destroyed a pontoon bridge they had been utilizing to attempt to cross a river within the east, in what Ukrainian, British and U.S. officers stated is one other signal of Moscow’s battle to salvage a conflict gone awry.

Ukraine’s airborne command launched images and video of what it stated was a broken Russian pontoon bridge over the Siversky Donets River and a number of other destroyed or broken Russian navy autos close by. The command stated its troops “drowned the Russian occupiers.”

The battle for the Donbas, which has heated up since Russia’s bid to take Kyiv failed, has grow to be a day by day grind, as cities and villages change arms.

Source: www.bostonherald.com”