Pentagon chief tells Russia’s Shoigu he rejects any Russian pretext for escalation

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin delivers short remarks during a NATO defence ministers meeting at the Alliance’s headquarters, in Brussels, Belgium October 13, 2022. REUTERS/Yves Herman

WASHINGTON, Oct 23 (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in a phone call on Sunday that he “rejected any pretext for Russian escalation” in Ukraine, the Pentagon said.

Shoigu told his French, Turkish and British counterparts of Moscow’s concern that Ukraine could detonate a “dirty bomb,” according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

No statement on the call was immediately made available by the defense ministries of France and Turkey.

On Friday, Shoigu spoke with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin for the first time since May, and, according to a Pentagon readout, in the call “Austin emphasized the importance of maintaining lines of communication amid the ongoing war against Ukraine.”

Source: Reuters News

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