U.S., Russian defense chiefs talk as Ukraine's future in balance

by Reuters
Saturday, 1 March 2014 18:10 GMT

WASHINGTON, March 1 (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke on Saturday with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Shoigu, a U.S. official told Reuters, as Russian President Vladimir Putin secured his parliament's authority to invade Ukraine.

Asked about rumors some U.S. military units had been on alert over turmoil in the Crimean peninsula, the official said the U.S. focus was on diplomatic options. There was no change in the U.S. military's stance, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. (Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by Bill Trott)