The United States and Ukraine on Thursday agreed to cooperate on defense technology and improve Ukraine`s forces in a move aimed at boosting Ukrainian defense and enhancing U.S. assistance, the Pentagon said, according to Reuters.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak signed the partnership agreement at a meeting in London in which they also discussed the conflict in eastern Ukraine, where Ukrainian government forces confront Russian-backed separatists, Reuters reports.
The partnership aims ”to enhance the defense capacity of Ukraine`s forces, advance critical Ukrainian defense reforms, improve resource management processes and boost defense technology cooperation,” the Pentagon said in a statement following the meeting.
Carter, speaking to reporters, called it a ”very, very important agreement” to help further Ukraine`s capabilities for defending its territory. He did not suggest it would change the nature of U.S. assistance, which has been focused on defensive support.
Carter also named retired U.S. Army General John Abizaid, former head of U.S. Central Command, as a senior defense adviser to Ukraine to help Poltorak and other Ukrainian officials implement the reforms.