Readout of Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper’s Phone Call With Ukrainian Minister of Defense Andrii Taran

April 8, 2020

Pentagon Press Secretary Alyssa Farah provided the following readout:

Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper spoke by phone today with Ukrainian Minister of Defense Andrii Taran to strengthen the strategic partnership between the United States and Ukraine and exchange perspectives on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

Secretary Esper congratulated Minister Taran on his recent appointment as Minister of Defense and reiterated U.S. support for building the capacity of Ukraine’s forces to defend more effectively against Russian aggression. Secretary Esper also highlighted the need for European allies to enhance their support to the Ukraine security assistance mission.

Minister Taran reaffirmed Ukraine’s commitment to transforming Ukraine’s defense sector in line with NATO principles and standards. Secretary Esper praised Ukraine’s recent progress on defense reforms and encouraged Minister Taran to maintain Ukraine’s momentum in support of a more secure and democratic Ukraine.