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AP

Pentagon chief urges Putin to choose diplomacy

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Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin cautioned Russia that "there is still time and space for diplomacy," despite the tens of thousands of Russian troops massed on Ukraine's border. Austin said the U.S. and its allies has offered Russian President Vladimir Putin "a path away from crisis and toward greater security." Earlier on Friday, President Vladimir Putin told French President Emmanuel Macron that the West has failed to consider Russia’s key conditions of halting further NATO expansion, stopping the deployment of alliance weapons near Russian borders, and rolling back its forces from Eastern Europe, the Kremlin said. Putin told Macron that Moscow will study the U.S. and NATO response before deciding its next move, according to a Kremlin account of their call. Austin reiterated U.S. support for Ukraine's security and for the security of NATO members in Europe.

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