Ukrainian war: Milley speaks with his Russian counterpart for the first time since the start of the conflict

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For the first time since the start of the war in Ukraine more than three months ago, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, spoke by telephone with his Russian counterparts on Thursday.

Milley spoke with Russian Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov about “several security-related issues,” Joint Chiefs of Staff spokesman Col. Dave Butler said in a reading of the ‘call.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley listens during a press conference at the Pentagon, Friday, Jan. 28, 2022, in Washington.
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Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley listens during a press conference at the Pentagon, Friday, Jan. 28, 2022, in Washington.
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

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Details of the call were kept under wraps, but the two military leaders reportedly agreed to keep the lines of communication open.

The head of the United States’ European Command and NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Tod Wolters, said he hoped the talks would bring the two sides “one step closer to a solution.” diplomatic”.

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“I think what we all want most is for diplomacy to come to the fore,” he told reporters after NATO announced a new strategy in place. militarism in the wake of Russian aggression in Europe.

Thursday’s call from Milley comes just a week after Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had a call with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin speaks to the media during a press conference following the Ukraine Security Advisory Group meeting at Ramstein Air Base in Ramstein, Germany, Tuesday, April 26 2022.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin speaks to the media during a press conference following the Ukraine Security Advisory Group meeting at Ramstein Air Base in Ramstein, Germany, Tuesday, April 26 2022.
(AP Photo/Michael Probst)

None of the US officials had spoken with their Russian counterparts since the week before Russia invaded Ukraine.

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A senior US defense official told reporters after the call that it was unclear why Russia was now agreeing to hold talks after months of attempts by Washington.

But officials hope the lines of communication will remain open as Russia continues to escalate its war in Ukraine.

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