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Russia voices concern over increased US and NATO military activity near Russian border

August 16, 2014, 0:20 UTC+3 MOSCOW
In a telephone conversation with his U.S. colleague Chuck Hagel, Shoigu also called for an immediate ceasefire in eastern Ukraine
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Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu

Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu

© ITAR-TASS / Aleksei Pantzikov

MOSCOW, August 15 /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu on Friday voiced serious concern over increased U.S. and NATO military activities near the Russian border.

In a telephone conversation with his U.S. colleague Chuck Hagel, Shoigu also called for an immediate ceasefire and safe corridors to deliver humanitarian aid and evacuate civilians from the combat area in eastern Ukraine.

He gave a detailed assessment of Ukrainian troops’ actions in the combat area. Shoigu said it was unacceptable to use combat aviation, heavy weapons, including rockets, artillery and missiles, against civilians and the region’s civilian infrastructure.

Shoigu described the situation in the area as “a humanitarian catastrophe”.

He also told Hagel about the efforts being taken to deliver humanitarian aid to eastern Ukraine and problems with the movement of the humanitarian convoy.

The Russian Defence Ministry described the conversation as “business-like and constructive” and said Shoigu and Hagel had agreed to continue contacts.

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