On 13 May, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin called Russian Minister of Defense Sergey Shoygu to talk about the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
According to a short statement by the US Department of Defense, Secretary Austin urged an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine and emphasized the importance of maintaining lines of communication.
Ellen Mitchell writing the The Hill, it was the first time they had spoken since the Russian invasion on 24 February and Austin. A senior defence official later told reporters said Austin hopes it “will serve as a springboard for future conversations. I won’t speak for the Russians, but I think generally our takeaway was that the message was received with respect to keeping the lines open.”
However, Austin “continues to have concerns about what’s going on in Ukraine,” and the call itself “didn’t specifically solve any acute issues or lead to a direct change in what the Russians are doing and what they’re saying,” the official said.