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'Russian, US defence ministers discussed Ukraine by phone'

By AFP - Jun 27,2024 - Last updated at Jun 27,2024

MOSCOW — Russian Minister of Defence Andrei Belousov and his US counterpart Lloyd Austin spoke by phone on Tuesday to discuss the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, Moscow's defence ministry said.

"The Ministers exchanged views on the situation around Ukraine," the ministry said in a statement, noting the conversation took place "at the initiative of the American side". 

"Andrei Belousov pointed to the danger of further escalation of the situation in connection with the ongoing supply of US weapons to the Armed Forces of Ukraine," it continued. "Other issues were also discussed."

The Pentagon also reported the phone call, saying in a statement that Austin had "emphasised the importance of maintaining lines of communication amid Russia's ongoing war against Ukraine".

The statement said it was Austin's first call with Belousov, who was appointed to his post in May. 

Russia has slammed the United States for its ongoing military support for Ukraine, and Washington recently gave Kyiv the green light to use long-range US weapons on parts of Russia near the beleaguered city of Kharkiv.


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