“You can count on the United States to remain your strong partner in strengthening Ukraine’s military to defend Ukrainian democracy,” U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper said in a video address posted on Twitter by the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine.
Cooper noted that her visit to Kyiv this week for consultations with Ukrainian partners acquired additional significance after Russia’s blatant violation of the sovereignty of Ukraine last week.
“The United States strongly condemns the irresponsible aggression of Russia. We call on Russia to ease the tensions it created by releasing the captured Ukrainian ships and crewmembers and ending the blockade of Ukrainian ports in the Sea of Azov. Russia should respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, extending to its territorial waters," the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense said.
The US is working closely with the Ukrainian military and the government as a whole "to enhance Ukraine’s resilience in the face of Russian aggression," she noted.
Since 2014, the United States has allocated $1.1 billion for military training and equipment "to help Ukraine defend itself and also provided effective advice on the modernization of the defense sector in accordance with NATO standards."
"We will continue to support Ukrainian people and keep the sanctions regime against Russia. Russia must fully comply with the obligations under the Minsk agreements and leave Donbas. Our Crimea Declaration defines the US policy clearly and unequivocally: we do not and will not recognize the so-called annexation of Crimea by Russia," Cooper said.
As reported, on December 6, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper arrived in Kyiv to hold consultations on modernizing of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and discussing Russian aggression.
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