American Forces Press Service
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel yesterday warned his Ukrainian counterpart against using the military to quell demonstrations over President Viktor Yanukovych`s decision to shelve a trade agreement with the European Union.
Hagel spoke by phone with Ukrainian Defense Minister Pavlo Lebedyev, Assistant Pentagon Press Secretary Carl Woog said in a statement summarizing the call.
Secretary Hagel warned Minister Lebedyev not to use the armed forces of Ukraine against the civilian population in any fashion, " Woog said. He underlined the potential damage of any involvement by the military in breaking up the demonstrations and called for restraint. "
Lebedyev stated that it is Yanukovych`s position not to use the armed forces against the protestors, Woog added, and said he would pass Hagel`s message directly to Yanukovych.
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