U.S. secretary of defense assures Kyiv of U.S. support in event of escalation in Donbas - Ukrainian Defense Ministry

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Ukrainian Defense Minister Andriy Taran discussed the situation in Donbas, and Austin reaffirmed his country's readiness to support Kyiv in the event of an "escalation of Russian aggression," according to a statement published on the website of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry on Thursday.

"Lloyd Austin expressed concern over the recent actions of the Russian Federation and assured the minister of defense of Ukraine of a readiness to support Ukraine in the context of Russia's ongoing aggression in Donbas and Crimea. The U.S. secretary of defense stressed that in the event of an escalation of Russian aggression, the United States will not leave Ukraine alone and will not allow the realization of aggressive aspirations of the Russian Federation towards Ukraine," according to the statement.

Taran, in turn, briefed Austin on the military-political situation on the contact line with fighters-controlled territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, in Crimea and along the state border of Ukraine.

Taran also focused on the March 26 developments in the proximity of Shumy, where four Ukrainian servicemen were killed.

"Besides, the head of the Ukrainian defense ministry stressed the systematic escalation of the security situation in the area of the Joint Forces Operation and the unwillingness of the Russian Federation to confirm its commitment to the ceasefire," it said.

Interfax-Ukraine

News about recent political developments in Ukraine, key Ukrainian economic news and major current events in the CIS and the rest of the world.

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