Russia defense chief tells Hagel no plans to cross into eastern Ukraine

WASHINGTON - US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel received assurances on Thursday from his Russian counterpart that the thousands of Russian troops along Ukraine's eastern border had no plans to enter the country, a Pentagon spokesman said.


Hagel held an often "direct" conversation with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu about the Ukraine crisis for about an hour, US Rear Admiral John Kirby said.


The Pentagon chief initiated the call, he said, in part because of concerns about the continued reinforcement of Russian troops on Ukraine's eastern and southern borders. (Reuters)