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USA-Russia. The head of the Pentagon talked with the Russian defense minister

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Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin had a telephone conversation with Russian Defense Minister Andrei Belousov on Tuesday, Defense Department spokesman General Pat Ryder said. He added that Austin stressed the importance of “open lines of communication.” Ryder declined to comment on the possible sending of U.S. equipment service technicians to Ukraine.

As Gen. Pat Ryder, the chief, said at a press briefing Pentagon Lloyd Austin called Andrei Belousov and “stressed the importance of maintaining lines of communication during Russia's ongoing war against Ukraine.” A spokesman for the Department of Defense did not provide details, only saying that it was the first conversation with the Russian minister since March 15, 2023.

Lloyd Austin Shutterstock

Austin then talked to the then head of the Russian Ministry of National Defense Sergei Shoigu right after Russian fighters downed an American MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle over the Black Sea.

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Andrei Belousov PAP/EPA

This time the conversation took place after Ukrainian attack with American ATACMS missiles on Sevastopolwhich, according to Russia, resulted in the death of four people hit by fragments of a shot down rocket. Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs he later summoned American ambassador Lynne Tracy, making accusations USA of leading the attack and threatening consequences.

U.S. officials responded to Russian protests by declaring that “Russia could stop this war and the suffering it has caused today if it would only stop its occupation of Ukraine's sovereign territory and stop attacking civilians.”

Question about American service technicians in Ukraine

Ryder on Tuesday refused to comment on CNN reports that the US administration was considering allowing Ukraine American civilian employees on government contracts who would help on-site repair and service American military equipment.

Read also: There is an arrest warrant for Shoigu and Gerasimov

As he said, the president would not comment on “internal discussions that may take place.” Joe Biden does not intend to change its decision not to send American soldiers to Ukraine.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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