WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin can still avoid a full-blown war of choice, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said on Tuesday at the start of talks at the Pentagon with Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.
“Mr. Putin can still avoid a full-blown, tragic war of choice,” Austin told Kuleba, adding: “We will continue to work closely with you.”
Before reporters were escorted from the room, Kuleba said: “My message is simple: (a) strong Ukraine is the best deterrence of Russia.”
(Reporting by Idrees Ali, writing by Phil Stewart; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)