US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s Visit to Ukraine

U.S. Department of Defense

Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby provided the following readout:

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III met with Ukrainian Minister of Defense Andrii Taran and later with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy today in Kyiv. In both meetings, the leaders affirmed the strength of the U.S.-Ukraine strategic defense partnership, and Secretary Austin pledged continued U.S. support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and Euro-Atlantic aspirations.

The leaders discussed a range of security issues, including Russia’s destabilizing actions in eastern Ukraine and in occupied Crimea as well as the malign influence of China in the region.

Secretary Austin reiterated the U.S. commitment to supporting Ukraine’s forces through security assistance, including efforts to enhance Ukraine’s maritime capacity, and encouraged deeper regional cooperation among our Black Sea allies and partners.

Secretary Austin encouraged Ukraine to maintain progress on defense and defense industry reforms in order to advance its Euro-Atlantic aspirations. President Zelenskyy and Minister Taran expressed gratitude for U.S. support and their ongoing commitment to Ukraine’s defense reform agenda.

Secretary Austin and Minister Taran also discussed how to implement the recently signed U.S.-Ukraine Strategic Defense Framework, which outlines our bilateral priorities and enhances our strategic defense partnership.

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