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US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin speaks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu for the first time since Russia invaded Ukraine

Austin used the first call between the two in 84 days to urge Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to implement an “immediate ceasefire,” according to a brief reading of the call. The latter two spoke on February 18, a week before Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine.

This ends a long period in which top Russian military leaders have repeatedly refused to speak with their American counterparts.

On March 24, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley “searched and continue to search” for phone calls with Shoigu and General Valery Gerasimov, the Russian general-in-chief, but the Russians “so far have refused to engage.”

Following the call between Austin and Shoigu, Milley should also contact his Russian counterpart to see if it is possible to schedule a call, a defense official told CNN, but there are currently no conversations on the schedule. .

The two haven’t spoken since Feb. 11, a week before the last call between Austin and Shoigu.

This story is broken and will be updated.

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