Details emerge of first conversation between American and Russian defense ministers since February

14 May, 04:58 PM
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin (Photo:REUTERS/Julia Nikhinson)

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin (Photo:REUTERS/Julia Nikhinson)

Talks between US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu have not led to any breakthroughs, the New York Times reported on May 13, citing an unnamed Pentagon official.

According to the newspaper, the telephone conversation was initiated by the American side and lasted an hour; it was "professional" but was “a bit of a stalemate”. 

"What motivated them to change their mind and be open to it, I don’t think we know for sure ... The call itself didn’t specifically solve any acute issues or lead to a direct change in what the Russians are doing or saying," he told NYT. 

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A Pentagon rep added that the agency hopes to continue talks after the call. 

On May 13, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin spoke for the first time since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine with Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu. The last time they spoke was on February 18. 

In early April, Austin said he had repeatedly tried to contact Shoigu since the start of the all-out war in Ukraine, but the Russian defense minister did not respond. 

On May 13, the Minister of Defense of Ukraine Oleksii Reznikov discussed with Austin the implementation of a lend-lease program for Ukraine, and the decisions made during their meeting with colleagues from more than 40 countries at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

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