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 covering a wide variety of subjects, from the nature of the growing terror threat in Northern Africa to China’s crackdown on Tibet and the struggle over immigration reform in the United States. You can follow Jeff on Twitter at @jseldin or on Google Plus.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid