April 17 - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says the United States will send additional non-lethal military support to Ukraine. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) The United States will send additional non-lethal military support to Ukraine, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Thursday (April 17), in the latest U.S. move to reassure allies following Russia's annexation of Crimea and a buildup of Russian forces on the Ukrainian border. "Earlier this morning I called Ukraine's acting defense minister to tell him that President Obama has approved additional non-lethal military assistance for health and welfare items and other supplies," Hagel said, speaking at a Pentagon news conference after talks with Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak. The new support follows NATO's announcement on Wednesday (April 16) that it would send more ships, planes and troops to eastern Europe "within days." NATO has made clear it will not intervene militarily in Ukraine, which is not a NATO member. Hagel was asked whether the U.S. military and its NATO allies were concerned that the Russian moves toward Ukraine were the start of a longer campaign by Moscow to regain territory lost during the breakup of the Soviet Union. "I think we have to be alert to all possibilities. The actions of the Russians over the last two months is not only irresponsible and violates territorial integrity and sovereignty of a sovereign nation but it is dangerously irresponsible. And, the focus of collective security, in particular NATO or any region or nation, is to anticipate and to protect themselves and think through what are the possibilities, what could happen," Hagel said. "So, yes, we're--, we have to look at, based on past actions, we have to look at every possibility." Siemoniak seemed to suggest that was the intention of Russian President Vladimir Putin. "It is of concern what we can see happening in the east of Ukraine: A situation where, in the name of the protection of unthreatened interests of the rights of the minority, a brutal intervention is taking place. The current status really gives rise to the risk that it will get out of the control," Siemoniak said.