Pentagon spokesman John Kirby believes that the telephone conversation between the heads of the US and Russian General Staffs was connected with the statements of the Ukrainian military about certain movements of Russian forces, the American side tried to get additional information.
This statement was made by a representative of the US defense department on Wednesday at a briefing.
The representative of the defense department was asked to comment on reports that the chairman of the Committee of Chiefs of Staff (KNS) of the US Armed Forces, General Mark Milli, spoke by phone with the Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces – First Deputy Defense Minister of the Russian Federation, General of the Army Valery Gerasimov, as well as with the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (APU ) Ruslan Khomchak. Kirby said in this regard that the United States is “aware of the reports of the Ukrainian military regarding the movement of Russian troops on the borders of Ukraine.” The Pentagon spokesman noted that the parties during the conversation, in particular, could refer to “this issue and these concerns.”
Kirby also added: “As I said, one of the reasons we turned to Russia is because we tried to get a little more clarity about what exactly is going on.” “I’m just not ready now to provide more details about these discussions, which have just begun,” he said. The Pentagon spokesman did not specify whether the US military considers the statements of the Ukrainian side credible. He noted that the United States is also discussing this issue with its NATO allies.
Asked if US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin intends to speak with his Russian counterpart, Kirby replied: “Today I have nothing to announce or say about the minister’s phone calls.”
As the Russian Defense Ministry told reporters on Wednesday, the telephone talks between Gerasimov and Milli took place at the initiative of the American side. “Issues of mutual interest were discussed,” the military department noted.
On Wednesday, the plenipotentiary representative of the Russian Federation in the contact group for resolving the conflict in eastern Ukraine, Boris Gryzlov, called Kiev’s position on security issues in the conflict zone in Donbass irresponsible and cynical. The situation in Donbass escalated on March 26, when four servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were killed in the vicinity of the village of Shumy. Kiev accused the People’s Militia of the Donetsk People’s Republic of this, in Donetsk they denied their involvement in the shelling. Later, the People’s Police Department of the DPR said that the Ukrainian military was blown up by a mine explosive device while examining minefields.