Readout of Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel's Call with Ukraine's Minister of Defense Valeriy Heletey
Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby provided the following readout:
Secretary Hagel spoke today by phone with Ukraine's new Minister of Defense, Valeriy Heletey. The secretary congratulated Minister Heletey on his appointment and asked for his assessment of developments in Ukraine.
Minister Heletey conveyed that despite steady progress by the Ukrainian military , the situation in eastern Ukraine continues to worsen. The minister attributed the increasing levels of violence, including the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, to direct Russian support for the separatists.
Minister Heletey expressed his nation's interest in additional security assistance from the United States. Secretary Hagel assured him that the U.S. government will continue to review all such requests within a broad interagency process, beginning with discussions through our embassy in Kyiv.
The two exchanged mutual thanks for the excellent level of defense cooperation between the United States and Ukraine, and pledged to continue developing the bilateral relationship.