News / Europe

Pentagon to Send Assistance to Ukraine

FILE - US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel (center) and Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak inspect a military honor guard during a welcoming ceremony in Warsaw, Jan. 30, 2014.
FILE - US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel (center) and Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak inspect a military honor guard during a welcoming ceremony in Warsaw, Jan. 30, 2014.
Even as diplomats work in Geneva to calm rising tensions surrounding events in Ukraine, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced the U.S. will provide more non-lethal assistance to Kyiv.  The action signals support for the country in its standoff with Russia but falls short of adding U.S. weaponry.  
 
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says this is a critical time for NATO, expressing concerns about what he called “Russia’s ongoing de-stabilizing activities” in Eastern Ukraine.

“The actions of the Russians over the last two months is not only irresponsible and violates territorial integrity and sovereignty of a sovereign nation but it’s dangerously irresponsible," said Hagel

Following a meeting with the Polish defense minister at the Pentagon, Hagel said Russia’s aggression has renewed U.S. resolve to strengthen NATO and that U.S. military planners are working to help update NATO’s defense plans.  

Hagel says the U.S. is also looking at other ways to reassure allies in Central and Eastern Europe.

“These measures are not meant to provoke or threaten Russia but instead to demonstrate NATO’s continued dedication to collective defense," he said.

Already, the U.S. has sent 12 additional F-16 fighter jets to bolster a detachment in Poland.  Those jets will now likely stay through the end of the year.

And Hagel announced the U.S. will provide Ukraine with more non-lethal military aid, including medical supplies, helmets, sleeping mats and water purification units. Despite requests for military assistance, the Obama administration has until now provided Ukraine mostly* with financial support while pressuring Russia diplomatically.

NATO is strengthening its presence in the region, saying Thursday it will send a contingent of mine hunting ships to the Black Sea.

Poland, a NATO member, is also worried about Russia and has been in talks with the U.S. about modernizing its military.

Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak says he is encouraged by what he has heard.

“We want Poland to be as close to the West as possible, cooperating with NATO and the United States, and there is no other way to guarantee our own security," said Siemoniak.

Despite expressing hope talks will be able to help defuse growing tensions, Defense Secretary Hagel refused to rule out the possibility Russia could be looking to reclaim territory and influence lost in the collapse of the old Soviet Union, saying “based on past actions we have to look at every possibility.”

Jeff Seldin

Jeff works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters and is national security correspondent. You can follow Jeff on Twitter at @jseldin or on Google Plus.

You May Like

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
April 18, 2014 5:00 PM
Putin enjoys hurting the USA economically , the more he can do so the better he feels. Most definitely Putin needs a serious slap on the hand for their role in the instability in Ukraine AND Syria.

Putin needs to be ousted from Russia. Any Russians I know can't stand him. He is NOT good for Russian people whatsoever.

by: Missy from: USA
April 18, 2014 12:19 PM
Its just a pity to see USA, EU and NATO just stopping on warnings yet Russia is really invading other countries with impunity. Russia is really a super power, China next and may be another country. Bye bye Americans!!!!

by: Davis K. Thanjan from: New York
April 17, 2014 4:20 PM
Why the US President Barrak Obama and the US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel are reluctant to provoke Russia, while Russia has already provoked Ukraine, EU, NATO and the US.?

by: Davis K. Thanjan from: New York
April 17, 2014 4:12 PM
US, EU and NATO sold out Crimea of Ukraine to Russia. Can Russia claim the same analogy to claim Alaska from the U.S.?
In Response

by: Kevin from: California
April 19, 2014 4:41 AM
Not if he knows the first thing about the Alaskan people he won't.
In Response

by: cc from: Moscow
April 18, 2014 9:48 AM
Why not? ;)

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs