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Immediate Release

Readout of Secretary of Defense Ash Carter's Meeting with Ukrainian Minister of Defense General Stepan Poltorak

Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook provided the following readout:

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter met with Ukrainian Minister of Defense General Stepan Poltorak today on the sidelines of the NATO Defense Ministerial in Brussels, Belgium.

The two leaders discussed Russia's ongoing aggression in eastern Ukraine and Secretary Carter emphasized that the United States, together with our allies, remains committed to full implementation of Minsk Agreements in support of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. Secretary Carter also underscored the United States commitment to our non-recognition policy of Russia's attempted illegal annexation of Crimea.

Secretary Carter and Minister Poltorak reviewed U.S. security assistance efforts designed to help build the capacity of Ukraine's forces. The United States has committed more than $600 million since 2014, including training programs to enhance Ukraine's internal defense capabilities, equipment to support the operational needs of Ukraine's security forces, and a robust advisory effort to advance the implementation of key defense reforms.

Secretary Carter commended Minister Poltorak for undertaking an ambitious program of comprehensive defense reforms and reaffirmed the United States' commitment to supporting Ukraine, both bilaterally and through NATO, to help Ukraine better provide for its own security and make its defense enterprise more effective and efficient.