Hagel speaks with Russian counterpart after earlier calls ignored

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel finally got finally got the Russian minister of defense on the phone Monday.

Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement Hagel and Russian Minister of Defense Sergei Shoygu “discussed a wide range of issues related to the situation in Ukraine, with Sec. Hagel requesting clarification of Russia's intentions in Eastern Ukraine.”

Shoygu said Russian forces would not invade Ukraine, while Hagel reiterated that Ukraine has a right to preserve law and order within its own borders, according to Kirby.

“Sec. Hagel also repeated his call for an end to Russia's destabilizing influence inside Ukraine and warned that continued aggression would further isolate Russia and result in more diplomatic and economic pressure,” Kirby added.

He said the two hope to have conversations going forward.

Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren told reporters Friday that Hagel had tried to speak with Shoygu, but “we have not heard back.”