According to Moscow, the meeting was at the request of the American side. Sojgu and Austin discussed security issues of mutual interest over the phone last Friday.
On Friday, the Russian Defense Ministry said the Western Army’s Tank Army had launched another railroad train from the drill site to the troops’ permanent station.
According to the ministry, the train will travel 1,000 kilometers to the Nizhny Novgorod region.
Several NATO members have accused Russia in recent months of trying to cover up preparations for an attack on Ukraine through military exercises in the western regions of the country. Moscow has long called this incorrect and said it had no aggressive intentions.
The Russian Defense Ministry has released several announcements and videos in recent days that military subunits from the western regions of the country and Crimea have returned to their permanent positions. However, NATO sees no sign of reducing Russian forces near the Russian-Ukrainian border, to which the Kremlin responded that the alliance had trouble assessing the real situation.
Cover page: Russian Defense Minister Sergei Soigo at an expanded leadership meeting of the Ministry of Defense in Moscow on December 21, 2021. MTI / EPA / Sputnik / Mikhail Tereshchenko
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