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

Ukraine: Mysterious 'Roaming Tank' Reportedly Takes Aim at Smugglers

Ukraine's TV, print media, Facebook abuzz with reports a 'roaming tank' is on the loose, destroying vehicles of those involved in smuggling More

US Wildlife Service Begins Probe of Killing of Cecil the Lion

Minnesota man accused of killing beast is in hiding, has been asked to contact US officials; White House to review extradition petition More

Video Kerry Tour Will Cover Security, Iran Nuclear Deal

US secretary of state to visit 5 countries in the Middle East, South Asia in bid to strengthen economic and security ties, ease concerns over deal with Tehran 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.
Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’i
X
July 29, 2015 9:34 PM
Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs