12:18 06.11.2015

Syria events won't distract U.S. from conflict in Donbas – U.S. Assistant Defense Secretary

Acting U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Elissa Slotkin has said that Russia’s actions in Syria will not make the United States forget about the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, the press service of the Defense Ministry of Ukraine reported.

"While the minister and I reviewed all of our ongoing security assistance programs, the focus of our discussion was on setting priorities for our bilateral security relationship going forward, and charting a course to meet them over the medium-to long-term, meaning in the next three to five years. We agreed to develop a bilateral partnership plan designed to help Ukraine build its defense capacity, deepen its Euro-Atlantic ties, and strengthen its institutions," Slotkin said at a meeting with Defense Minister of Ukraine Stepan Poltorak on Thursday.

For his part, Poltorak said that it is too early to speak about a stable lull or "frozen conflict".

"The [pro-Russian militants] enemy is again breaking the Minsk agreements and the basis of these violations is the aggression of the gang groups: both shell attacks on Ukrainian military positions and the issue of demands to hold local elections in Donbas, which violates not just [the Minsk] agreements, but the Constitution of Ukraine as well," Poltorak said.

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