The strategic nature of Ukrainian-American defense cooperation was confirmed: Ministers of Defense of Ukraine and the United States held a telephone conversation

2021-02-19 17:25:00 | ID: 61709

On February 19, Minister of Defense of Ukraine Andrii Taran held a telephone conversation with United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, which has once again confirmed the strategic nature of bilateral defense cooperation between Ukraine and United States of America.

Andrii Taran congratulated his American counterpart on his appointment as US Secretary of Defense and briefed him on the security situation in Ukraine and around its borders.

During the conversation, the heads of defense departments discussed issues of defense reform and progress in key areas. In turn, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has confirmed further support of the Armed Forces of Ukraine within Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI).

— We are grateful to the people and the Government of the United States for their unwavering assistance and participation in strengthening of Ukraine’s resilience against external threats, as well as helping it to move closer to the full-fledged NATO membership. We are constantly enhancing our interoperability with the Alliance through technical assistance, as well as joint participation in international peacekeeping and security operations. Therefore, Ukraine reaffirms its intention to continue to participate in NATO-led operations, in particular as part of NATO “Resolute Support Mission” in Afghanistan, NATO Mission in Kosovo, and is preparing to send forces and resources to the NATO Training Mission in Iraq as well as NATO “Sea Guardian” operation in the Mediterranean,- stressed Andrii Taran.

Lloyd Austin thanked for the continued participation of Ukrainian forces in international operations.

The parties also discussed practical steps to implement Ukraine’s status as a member of NATO Enhanced Opportunities Partnership program.

The heads of defense departments expressed mutual hope for a personal meeting in the near future.

Andrii Taran also invited the US Secretary of Defense to take part in the celebrations on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Ukraine’s Independence.