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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: NR-092-14
February 21, 2014

Readout of Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel's Phone Call with Ukrainian Minister of Defense Pavlo Lebedev

Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby provided the following readout:
 
"Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel spoke by phone with Ukrainian Minister of Defense Pavlo Lebedev this afternoon.
 
"Minister Lebedev assured the secretary that the Ukrainian armed forces remain the protectors of the Ukrainian people, that their deployment inside the country has been focused on protecting defense facilities and equipment, and that his forces would not use arms against the Ukrainian people.
 
"Secretary Hagel said he was encouraged by the recent news that the Ukrainian government and the opposition leadership had reached an agreement on how to move forward without further violence.  He commended the government's decision to keep the military on the sidelines of the crisis thus far and urged continued restraint.
 
"Minister Lebedev expressed his appreciation for U.S. involvement in negotiations to resolve the situation in Ukraine."