Readout of Secretary Mattis' Events and Meetings with Ukrainian Leaders in Kyiv
Pentagon Chief Spokesperson Dana W. White provided the following readout:
Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis met with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and later with Ukrainian Minister of Defense Stepan Poltorak today in Kyiv. This was his first official meeting with Minister Poltorak.
In both discussions, the leaders emphasized the steadfast partnership between the two countries. Secretary Mattis pledged continued U.S. support to build the capacity of Ukraine's forces and applauded Ukraine’s commitment to modernizing its defense sector according to NATO standards.
The leaders also discussed the strategic challenges associated with Russian aggression and the need for Russia to adhere to its commitments under the Minsk agreements, including an immediate ceasefire, withdrawal of heavy weapons, and unfettered access for security monitors in eastern Ukraine.
The Secretary attended a military parade commemorating Ukraine's Independence Day alongside President Poroshenko and eight Ministers of Defense from allied and partner nations.
A transcript of the joint press conference with Secretary Mattis and President Poroshenko can be found at https://www.defense.gov/News/Transcripts/Transcript-View/Article/1288808/secretary-mattis-joint-press-conference-with-ukrainian-president-poroshenko/.