U.S., NATO discuss need for Russia to cease military buildup near Ukraine: State Department

FILE PHOTO: A Ukrainian service member walks along fighting positions near Avdiivka

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg discussed the Russian military buildup near Ukraine and other issues on Monday before the top U.S. diplomat's trip to Brussels this week.

Blinken and Stoltenberg discussed "the immediate need for Russia to cease its aggressive military buildup along Ukraine’s borders and in occupied Crimea" as well as prospects for advancing peace in Afghanistan, the State Department said in a statement.

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu)