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Immediate Release

Readout of Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III's Call With Ukrainian Minister of Defence Oleksii Reznikov

Attributed to Pentagon Press Secretary Brigadier General Patrick Ryder:

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III spoke with Ukrainian Minister of Defence Oleksii Reznikov to condemn the sham referenda Russia staged in occupied areas in Ukraine, reiterating that the U.S. will never recognize these illegal and illegitimate attempts at annexation. 
 
The leaders also discussed ongoing U.S. security assistance efforts, to include the most recent announcement of an additional $1.1 billion through the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative focused on supporting Ukraine over the long term. Minister Reznikov provided an update on the situation on the ground and Secretary Austin underscored the unwavering U.S. commitment to support Ukraine as it pushes back against Russian aggression. 
 
The leaders discussed planning for the next meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group and pledged to remain in close contact.