Reuters CARLOS BARRIA
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin discussed in a phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart Andrei Taran “strengthening the strategic partnership” between the two countries.
A Pentagon spokesman said in a statement following the call on Friday that Austin affirmed “the United States ‘steadfast support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, reaffirming the United States’ commitment to contribute to building the Ukrainian armed forces to more effectively counter Russian aggression,” according to the statement.
The US Secretary stressed the need to continue reforms in Ukraine in the field of defense.
In turn, the Ukrainian Minister affirmed Kiev’s commitment to reforming the Ukrainian defense in order to comply with the standards and principles of NATO.
It is noteworthy that Ukraine and Western countries always accuse Russia of interfering in the conflict in the Donbas region, east of Ukraine, while Moscow has repeatedly stressed that it is not a party to the internal Ukrainian conflict.