Washington, DC—(ENEWSPF)—April 28, 2014. Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby provided the following readout:
“Secretary of Defense Hagel spoke today by phone with Russian Minister of Defense Sergei Shoygu. The two leaders discussed a wide range of issues related to the situation in Ukraine, with Sec. Hagel requesting clarification of Russia’s intentions in Eastern Ukraine. Minister Shoygu reiterated his assurance that Russian forces would not invade Ukraine. Sec. Hagel emphasized how dangerous the situation remains and expressed his desire to find a responsible way forward.
Regarding recent actions by Ukrainian security forces, Sec. Hagel reiterated the right of the Government of Ukraine to preserve law and order within its own borders. He went on to ask his Russian counterpart for Russia’s assistance in securing the release of the seven inspectors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe currently being held in Eastern Ukraine.
Sec. Hagel also repeated his call for an end to Russia’s destabilizing influence inside Ukraine and warned that continued aggression would further isolate Russia and result in more diplomatic and economic pressure. He further emphasized that any diplomatic engagement must include the government of Ukraine. Sec. Hagel noted that implementation of the agreement made on April 17 in Geneva would represent progress.
Sec. Hagel and Min. Shoygu agreed that the two leaders should have continued conversations seeking a way forward.”