February 19, 2021
Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby provided the following readout:
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III spoke by phone today with Ukrainian Minister of Defense Andrii Taran to strengthen the strategic partnership between the United States and Ukraine.
Secretary Austin emphasized that the U.S. remains steadfast in its support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. He reaffirmed U.S. commitment to building the capacity of Ukraine’s forces to defend more effectively against Russian aggression and thanked Minister Taran for Ukraine’s contributions to international security. Secretary Austin also underscored the need for Ukraine to maintain progress on defense reforms.
Minister Taran expressed his gratitude for continued U.S. support and emphasized his commitment to transforming Ukraine’s defense sector in line with NATO principles and standards.