Deputy Secretary of Defense Spokesperson Lt. Cmdr. Courtney Hillson provided the following:
Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work hosted Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Ivanna Klympush-Tsyntsadze for a meeting at the Pentagon today.
The leaders discussed their mutual commitment to the full implementation of the Minsk Agreements in support of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.
Work expressed that Ukraine needs to maintain momentum on defense reforms to help Ukraine better provide for its own security and make its defense enterprise more effective and efficient. The deputy prime minister noted how she believes that success in defense reform could have a positive domino effect in other areas of reform throughout Ukraine.
The two leaders also reviewed U.S. security assistance efforts designed to help build the capacity of Ukraine’s forces. The United States has committed more than $600 million since 2014, including training programs, equipment, and a robust advisory effort to advance the implementation of key defense reforms. Work noted the fiscal year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act offers a promising signal that security cooperation efforts can continue in the new year if Ukraine demonstrates progress in implementing defense institutional reforms.
The deputy prime minister expressed her gratitude for U.S. support on Ukraine’s defense reforms, and noted the significance of their meeting at the Pentagon today as Ukraine celebrates its Armed Forces Day.
Release No: NR-428-16
Dec. 6, 2016
Dec. 6, 2016