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Published:June 15th, 2016 14:22 EST

Ash Carter, Ukrainian Minister Discuss Defense Issues in Brussels

By SOP newswire3

Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Ukrainian Defense Minister Gen. Stepan Poltorak discussed several defense-related issues today during a meeting on the sidelines of a NATO defense ministers conference in Brussels, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said in a statement.

ashThe two leaders discussed Russia`s ongoing aggression in eastern Ukraine, and Carter emphasized that the United States, together with its allies, remains committed to full implementation of Minsk agreements in support of Ukraine`s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, Cook said.

Carter also underscored America`s commitment to its nonrecognition policy of Russia`s attempted illegal annexation of Crimea, he added.

Security Assistance for Ukraine

Carter and Poltorak reviewed U.S. security assistance efforts designed to help build the capacity of Ukraine`s forces, Cook said. The U.S. 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, he added.

Cook said Carter commended Poltorak for undertaking an ambitious program of comprehensive defense reforms.

Carter also reaffirmed the U.S. 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, Cook said.

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