Russian Minister of Defence speaks to US Defence Secretary for first time amidst ongoing Ukraine-Russia crisis

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New Delhi: Russian Minister of Defence Sergei Shoigu and his American counterpart Defence Secretary Llyod Austin spoke for the first time ever since the initiation of Ukraine-Russia crisis. This conversation, no matter how significant it appears, will not be leading to any substantial change in the current scenario between Ukraine and Russia.

As the war enters 12th week, Austin had a firm belief that this conversation was significant enough so as to keep the channels of communication open with Moscow.  This will not bring about any sort of acute solutions for the ongoing crisis between Ukraine and Russia.

The conversation was initiated by Austin and it is being seen as the highest level of contact between US and Russia ever since the war broke out. There has been a list of instances where the Russian leaders have firmly declined any sort of establishment of contact with the Pentagon. Two big names that pop out who were repeatedly trying to establish contact with Moscow are Austin and Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chief’s of Staff.

The last conversation between Austin and Shoigu was held on Feb 18, a week prior to the initiation of the war. Milley might also be trying to establish contact with his Russian counterpart, Gen. Valery Gerasimov. A statement was released by the Pentagon citing that Austin had ‘urged an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine and emphasized the importance of maintaining lines of communication.’

This conversation is being looked as positive step and an essential one so as to have a clear view of each other’s understanding of where does the ongoing conflict stands and where it is headed to. 

Russia and the US have also created a so called deconfliction line that can be used by the militaries in in case of either emergencies or a perceived threat to NATO allies surrounding Ukraine. There are no instances yet where this line has been put to use.

The battle for Donbas is precarious, the region is a witness to the fight in order to establish control which has been swaying hands with the change of dominance by the armies.

first published:May 14, 2022, 3:55 p.m.

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