Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu spoke with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Sunday for the second time in three days and held a flurry of calls with three other counterparts from NATO countries, APA reports citing Reuters.
Moscow provided no details on the conversation with Austin, which came after the two men spoke on Friday for the first time since May. Its readouts on the other calls said Shoigu had said the situation in Ukraine was worsening.
"They discussed the situation in Ukraine which is rapidly deteriorating," the Russian defence ministry said of Shoigu's call with French Defence Minister Sebastien Lecornu. "It is trending towards further uncontrolled escalation."
Shoigu spoke separately to Turkey's defence minister, Hulusi Akar, and Britain's Ben Wallace.
Shoigu's ministry said he had told his French, Turkish and British counterparts of Moscow's concern that Ukraine could detonate a "dirty bomb" - a device laced with radioactive material. Russia has provided no evidence to substantiate such a claim.