Shafaq News/ U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin called for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine when he spoke by telephone to his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu on Friday for the first time since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the Pentagon said.
Austin has tried multiple times to try and talk with Shoigu since the invasion started nearly three months ago, but officials said Moscow had appeared uninterested in speaking.
Austin stressed the importance of maintaining lines of communication, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said in a statement.
Russia's TASS news agency quoted the Russian defence ministry as saying that the call happened "at the initiative of the American side".
"Topical issues of international security were discussed, including the situation in Ukraine," TASS said, quoting the ministry.
The United States and Russia have established a hotline since the invasion - which Moscow calls a "special military operation" - to prevent miscalculation and escalation in the region.
The "deconfliction" hotline is an open phone line based at the European Command's headquarters and falls under Air Force General Tod Wolters, who leads all U.S. forces on the continent.