Readout of Secretary Carter's Meeting with Ukrainian Minister of Defense General Stepan Poltorak
Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook provided the following readout:
Secretary of Defense Ash Carter met with Ukrainian Minister of Defense Stepan Poltorak for a bilateral meeting at the UN Peacekeeping Defense Ministerial today in London.
The two leaders discussed the fragile ceasefire between the Russian-backed separatists and Ukrainian forces. Secretary Carter emphasized that the United States, together with our allies, remains committed to the full implementation of the Minsk Agreements in support of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.
As a demonstration of continued U.S. support for Ukraine, Secretary Carter and Minister Poltorak co-signed a bilateral partner concept, a document that provides a framework for the United States and Ukraine to enhance the defense capacity of Ukraine's forces, advance critical Ukrainian defense reforms, improve resource management processes, and boost defense technology cooperation. This partner concept will build on the strong partnership between the U.S. and Ukraine and will enhance the effectiveness of U.S. security assistance efforts. Since 2014, the United States has committed more than $600 million in security assistance to Ukraine, including training programs to enhance Ukraine's internal defense capabilities, equipment to support the operational needs of Ukraine's security forces, and a robust advisory effort to advance the implementation of key defense reforms.
Secretary Carter also urged Minister Poltorak to remain committed to the ambitious Ukrainian program of comprehensive defense reforms to make Ukraine's defense enterprise more effective and efficient. In response to a Ukrainian request, Secretary Carter today named Gen. John Abizaid (Ret.), former CENTCOM commander, as a senior defense advisor to Ukraine. Gen. Abizaid will provide authoritative advice to Minister Poltorak and other senior Ukrainian officials as Ukraine aims to implement reforms designed to bring its armed forces in line with Western principles and standards, such as enhancing democratic civilian control of the military, transitioning to a NATO-interoperable staff structure, and combatting corruption.