Pentagon chief tells Russia's Shoigu he rejects any Russian pretext for escalation

NATO defence ministers meeting in Brussels
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin delivers short remarks during a NATO defence ministers meeting at the Alliance's headquarters, in Brussels, Belgium October 13, 2022. REUTERS/Yves Herman

WASHINGTON, Oct 23 (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in a phone call on Sunday that he "rejected any pretext for Russian escalation" in Ukraine, the Pentagon said.

Shoigu told his French, Turkish and British counterparts of Moscow's concern that Ukraine could detonate a "dirty bomb," according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Mark Porter

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