Russia's top military leaders have refused to communicate with their U.S. counterparts over the past month, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said, citing U.S. media. This was stated by Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, citing U.S. media.
After Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and General Mark Milley tried to establish telephone conversations with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and General Valery Gerasimov, but the Russians "have so far refused to participate." It remains unclear why the Russian generals refused to have telephone conversations with their U.S. counterparts.
Contacts between the United States and Russia have become much rarer since the invasion. U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan met most frequently with Russian officials. President Biden's national security adviser Jake Sullivan last week spoke with his counterpart Nikolai Patrushev for the first time since Feb. 24. CNN reported that some U.S. and Russian military officials met last week at the Russian Defense Ministry.
According to U.S. officials, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has not tried to hold talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov since the invasion began.
Former senior U.S. intelligence officer and scholar Angela Stent said Russia insists it is a "special military operation" and is unwilling to acknowledge the real nature of the war. The generals may also be waiting for Russian President Vladimir Putin's approval to make the calls, given the high stakes, and he may not agree.