On the initiative of the American side, the Minister of Defense of Ukraine Andrii Taran held a telephone conversation with the United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin today, on the 1st of April. For the second time in the last month and a half, the ministers discussed the ways to strengthen cooperation between Ukraine and the United States in the field of security and defense.
The Minister of Defense of Ukraine informed the counterpart about the military-political aspects of the situation on the line of demarcation with the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, in Crimea and around the state border of Ukraine. He paid special attention to the events of March 26 near the Shumy, where Russian occupation forces had insidiously killed four Ukrainian servicemen. Besides, the head of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry stressed the systematic escalation of the security situation in the area of the Joint Forces Operation and the unwillingness of the Russian Federation to confirm its commitment to the ceasefire.
Lloyd Austin expressed concern over the recent actions of the Russian Federation and assured the Minister of Defense of Ukraine of readiness to support Ukraine in the context of Russia’s ongoing aggression in Donbas and Crimea. The US Secretary of Defense stressed that in the event of escalation of Russian aggression, the United States will not leave Ukraine alone and will not allow the realization of aggressive aspirations of the Russian Federation towards Ukraine.
“Strategic dialogue at the level of heads of defense of Ukraine and the United States does not just continue, it is developing dynamically. American partners actively initiate contacts, expressing sincere concern about Russia’s attempts to aggravate the situation around Ukraine. Today’s phone call from the American counterpart is a clear demonstration of the proactive position of the United States in support of sovereignty and steps to restore the territorial integrity of Ukraine,” said Andrii Taran.
The heads of the defense of Ukraine and the United States discussed specific areas of strengthening cooperation in the field of security and defense.