US defense chief speaks with Russian and Ukrainian counterparts

US defense chief speaks with Russian and Ukrainian counterparts

Shafaq News/ On Friday, the US Secretary of Defense made two phone calls with his Russian and Ukrainian counterparts.

During his call with Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov, Lloyd Austin confirmed Washington's commitment to supporting Kyiv to "counter Russia's aggression," Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said.

"Secretary Austin also underscored the international community's continued support in building Ukraine's enduring strength and safeguarding Ukraine's ability to defend itself in the future, as demonstrated by the security assistance commitments made by allies and partners at the most recent Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting on October 12," he added. "The two leaders pledged to remain in close contact."

Ryder said during his call with Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu, " Secretary Austin emphasized the importance of maintaining lines of communication amid the ongoing war against Ukraine."

He did not provide further details.

It is worth noting that there have been no talks between Putin and Biden since the invasion.

Both leaders are set to attend the G20 summit in Indonesia in November but have indicated that they will avoid a meeting.

The US responded to the war in Ukraine with a package of sanctions on Russia and military aid to Ukraine.

Earlier this week, Biden accused the Russian president of trying to intimidate Ukrainians into surrendering. In contrast, Putin accused the West of being "colonial."

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