WASHINGTON, Feb. 2, 2018 —
Defense Secretary James N. Mattis met with Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak, at the Pentagon today, chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White said in a readout following the meeting.
During the meeting, Mattis emphasized the value of the U.S.-Ukraine security partnership, White said.
He praised Poltorak for his country’s sustained courage in the face of Russian aggression, she said, and reiterated U.S. support for Ukrainian defense reform goals.
The defense secretary cited the Law on National Security as an urgent priority. The law is aimed at bringing Ukraine’s national security apparatus in line with NATO and E.U. standards. Mattis expressed his hope that the Ukraine’s presidential administration and parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, take swift action and pass legislation that ensures a solid legal basis for the implementation of defense reforms in support of a secure and democratic Ukraine.
The two leaders pledged to strengthen a lasting partnership between the U.S. and Ukraine built on common security interests and shared principles.
Mattis and Poltorak last met in August in Kyiv, Ukraine, when the defense secretary was on a trip that also included stops in Jordan, Iraq and Turkey.