Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu held a phone call with US counterpart Lloyd Austin, the defence ministry said Friday, Oct.21, in rare talks between Moscow and Washington since the start of the Ukraine conflict.

“Topical issues of international security, including the situation in Ukraine, were discussed,” Russia’s defence ministry said in a statement on social media without providing further details.

This was the second phone call between Shoigu and Austin since Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24.

Their last call was on May 13, a few days before phone talks between the chief of the Russian General Staff, Valery Gerasimov, and his US counterpart Mark Milley on May 19.

Relations between Moscow and Washington have sunk to new lows since the start of Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine.


Russia has accused the US of seeking to prolong the conflict by providing financial and military aid to pro-Western Ukraine.

Ahead of a G20 summit hosted by Indonesia in November, Russian President Vladimir Putin said last week that he saw “no need” for an in-person meeting with US President Joe Biden.

Earlier this month, Biden said he had “no intention” of meeting with Putin but did not rule out potential talks.

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