17:38 09.04.2020

Taran in conversation with U.S. Defense Secretary Esper: Ukraine's military reform course toward NATO standards irreversible

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Taran in conversation with U.S. Defense Secretary Esper: Ukraine's military reform course toward NATO standards irreversible

Taran in conversation with U.S. Defense Secretary Esper: Ukraine's military reform course toward NATO standards irreversible

KYIV. April 9 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukraine's Defense Minister Andriy Taran during a telephone conversation with U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper assured him of the irreversibility of the defense reform according to NATO standards and thanked for the significant assistance that the United States provided to the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

"The heads of the defense departments confirmed the strategic nature of the partnership and the comprehensive support of Ukraine from the United States in countering Russian aggression, the invariance of the policy of ensuring sovereignty and restoration of Ukraine's territorial integrity, both at the political and military levels," Ukraine's Defense Ministry website said on Thursday.

Particular emphasis was placed on military-technical cooperation and the implementation of the first direct purchases of weapons and military equipment in the United States by Ukraine's Defense Ministry.

In addition, Taran informed Esper of the activities of the Ministry of Defense and state authorities of Ukraine in the context of the implementation of agreements on the receipt of the second tranche of security assistance from the United States.

As part of the implementation of defense reform, Taran noted the importance of advisory assistance from the United States at a strategic level in the field of human resources management and reforming the defense industry of Ukraine.

Taran emphasized the continuation of the Euro-Atlantic integration policy, and also outlined the priorities of the defense department.

During the conversation, the parties discussed the need to adjust, in a pandemic, key measures of bilateral cooperation in the defense sector, which are of paramount importance for maintaining the combat capabilities of the Armed Forces.

They emphasized that the key to the spread of the COVID-19 virus is the preservation of the health and life of personnel, which is currently one of the factors ensuring the country's defense capability.

In turn, Esper expressed support for Taran in the implementation of defense reform and reaffirmed unwavering support for the sovereignty of Ukraine.

The defense ministers of Ukraine and the United States agreed to maintain a constant dialogue of a strategic level, both at the ministerial level and at the level of their deputies.

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