US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on Friday (local time) spoke with his German counterpart Christine Lambrecht and both shared their concerns over Russia's military deployments near Ukraine and emphasized their strong support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
"Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III spoke with German Federal Minister of Defense Christine Lambrecht to discuss concerns with Russia's ongoing, unprovoked military build-up near and in Ukraine," said Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby in a statement.
Both leaders emphasized their strong support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, the statement said.
The leaders also discussed the recent diplomatic engagements with Russia, the need for Russia to stand down from its dangerous path, and agreed that Russia would face severe consequences in the event of a further invasion into Ukraine.
Secretary Austin and Minister Lambrecht also exchanged views on the importance of maintaining NATO unity and strong deterrence along NATO's Eastern Flank, the statement said, adding that they agreed to remain in close contact as the situation evolves. (ANI)