Readout of Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan’s Meeting With Ukrainian Minister of Defense Stepan Poltorak
Pentagon Spokesperson Eric Pahon provided the following readout:
Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan met with Ukrainian Minister of Defense Stepan Poltorak today at the NATO Defense Ministerial in Brussels, Belgium, to strengthen the strategic partnership between the United States and Ukraine.
Secretary Shanahan reaffirmed U.S. commitment to security assistance efforts to build the capacity of Ukraine’s forces to more effectively defend itself against Russian aggression. He condemned Russia’s unjustified attack on Ukrainian naval vessels near the Kerch Strait, and reaffirmed U.S. commitment to maintain pressure on Russia to immediately return detained crew members and seized vessels.
He also reiterated that the United States remains steadfast in its support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.
Secretary Shanahan praised Minister Poltorak for his leadership in making reforms to Ukraine’s defense sector and emphasized the need for continued progress in implementing key provisions of Ukraine’s Law on National Security in support of a secure and democratic Ukraine.