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Lloyd Austin urges “immediate ceasefire” in call with Russia’s defense minister

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin spoke Friday with Russian Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu in the leaders’ first conversation since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine.

Driving the news: Austin “urged an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine and emphasized the importance of maintaining lines of communication,” Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said in a statement.

The two officials last spoke on Feb. 18, the Department of Defense said.

Editor’s note: This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.