WASHINGTON, Sept. 4, 2014 —
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel today praised the actions of the Ukrainian armed forces in their current engagements in eastern Ukraine and pledged continued U.S. support for their efforts, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said.
Hagel made the comments during a meeting with Col. Gen. Valeriy Heletey, Ukraine’s defense minister, on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Wales, Kirby said in a statement summarizing the meeting.
Heletey thanked Secretary Hagel for that support, which includes millions of dollars of nonlethal material and assistance, the press secretary said.
“Secretary Hagel underscored calls by the United States, NATO and the European Union for Russia to immediately withdraw its forces from Ukraine, halt support for Russian separatists and honor its international obligations,” Kirby added. “Minister Heletey also reiterated Ukraine's commitment to democratic ideals and its commitment to working with its European partners.”