THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 12, 2014
We, the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission, call on the Russian Federation to cease all efforts to change the status of Crimea contrary to Ukrainian law and in violation of international law. We call on the Russian Federation to immediately halt actions supporting a referendum on the territory of Crimea regarding its status, in direct violation of the Constitution of Ukraine.
Any such referendum would have no legal effect. Given the lack of adequate preparation and the intimidating presence of Russian troops, it would also be a deeply flawed process which would have no moral force. For all these reasons, we would not recognize the outcome.
Russian annexation of Crimea would be a clear violation of the United Nations Charter; Russia’s commitments under the Helsinki Final Act; its obligations to Ukraine under its 1997 Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership; the Russia-Ukraine 1997 basing agreement; and its commitments in the Budapest Memorandum of 1994. In addition to its impact on the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, the annexation of Crimea could have grave implications for the legal order that protects the unity and sovereignty of all states. Should the Russian Federation take such a step, we will take further action, individually and collectively.
We call on the Russian Federation to de-escalate the conflict in Crimea and other parts of Ukraine immediately, withdraw its forces back to their pre-crisis numbers and garrisons, begin direct discussions with the Government of Ukraine, and avail itself of international mediation and observation offers to address any legitimate concerns it may have. We, the leaders of the G-7, urge Russia to join us in working together through diplomatic processes to resolve the current crisis and support progress for a sovereign independent, inclusive and united Ukraine. We also remind the Russian Federation of our decision to suspend participation in any activities related to preparation of a G-8 Sochi meeting until it changes course and the environment comes back to where the G-8 is able to have a meaningful discussion.
On February 10, the children at the United Nations’ Turaan school in Muzeirib, Syria, were among an ever shrinking group of kids still able to attend school, amid a conflict that has driven three million students away from classrooms. But then reality, in the form of an explosion reportedly from an air-to-ground strike, ripped through the windows and changed their lives forever.
Forty school children were injured that day, in an incident that garnered few headlines. Eight days later on February 18, another explosion struck a school in Muzeirib, killing five school children and 13 adults, and maiming 20 more.
These grim stories are the result of Bashar al-Asad’s refusal to heed the call of the Syrian people to step down. His regime’s campaign of horror conducted over the last three years is bankrolled and supported by Iran, Hizballah, and Russia. And, the regime has fostered the growth of violent extremists who also threaten Syria’s future.
The numbers of children affected in Syria are hard to conceptualize. Approximately three million of Syria’s children have been out of school since the beginning of the conflict. More than 10,000 kids have been killed. Of the more than 2.5 million Syrian refugees, half are children. Imagine entire cities full of children and their families needing food, shelter, warmth, and attention to their emotional and physical wounds—not to mention their basic education.
A U.N. report released in January laid out the severity of the crisis. Syria’s children have been sexually abused, tortured, recruited to fight, and used as civilian shields. They have also endured a range of “acts tantamount to torture,” including “beatings with metal cables, whips, and wooden and metal batons; electric shocks, including to the genitals; the ripping out of fingernails and toenails; sexual violence, including rape or threats of rape; mock executions; cigarette burns; sleep deprivation; solitary confinement; and exposure to the torture of relatives.”
Thousands will commemorate the three-year anniversary of the Syrian crisis on March 15, in solidarity with the people of Syria. Many fear, however, that there has not been enough attention focused on the atrocities taking place in Syria and the urgent need to achieve a political settlement. Here are several reasons to increase awareness around the world of the Syria crisis and encourage individuals to become part of the movement to help save Syria’s children:
1) Within Syria, international assistance is supporting heroic aid workers, nearly all Syrian, to keep millions of people alive, deliver food and water, operate schools, and arrange care for those with physical and emotional wounds. The aid that governments and individuals are providing is making a profound difference in the midst of this destruction.
2) International aid helps the countries neighboring Syria that are generously hosting millions of refugees. Tensions are rising as these societies struggle to accommodate so many vulnerable people. These countries need help to ensure there are enough hospital beds and school desks to support the large number of refugees.
3) Syria’s children and youth – the future leaders of what we hope will be a stable, inclusive, and democratic country – cannot afford to be overlooked. This is why the United States government supports the No Lost Generation initiative. It is also why we are urging you to spend a few moments today to become a champion of Syria’s children by visiting championthechildrenofsyria.org and following #ChildrenofSyria on Twitter.
The United States is deeply concerned about the needs of children in conflict and adversity. As the largest single donor nation to the Syria crisis, the United States has provided more than $1.7 billion in humanitarian assistance to support these critical efforts since the start of the crisis. This is in addition to the millions in U.S. bilateral assistance to support communities hosting refugees in Lebanon and Jordan.
But much more should be done. Aid organizations need more support. It is not too late to make a difference. Anyone can be a part of the movement to help save a generation of Syria’s children. Why not you?
President Obama will welcome Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk of Ukraine to the White House on March 12. The visit will highlight the strong support of the United States for the people of Ukraine, who have demonstrated inspiring courage and resilience through recent times of crisis. The President and Prime Minister Yatsenyuk will discuss how to find a peaceful resolution to Russia’s ongoing military intervention in Crimea that would respect Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity. They will also discuss support the international community can provide to help Ukraine confront its economic challenges, and the importance of uniting Ukraine and working to fulfill the aspirations of the Ukrainian people as they prepare for May presidential elections.
International Women’s Day is more than a moment marked on a calendar. It is a day not just to renew our determination to make the world a more peaceful and prosperous place – but to recognize that a world where opportunities for women grow, is a world where the possibilities for peace, prosperity, and stability grow even more.
I see it every single day as Secretary of State. Even as the Assad regime’s barrel-bombing of Aleppo continues, showing the world a brutal regime’s true colors, with every act of courage and perseverance, Syria’s women show the world their true colors as well. We heard from some of these remarkable women in Montreux just last month.
Their stories spoke to the bravery of countless other Syrian women. One woman from Idlib worked with the Free Syrian Army to ensure that the people of her village could remain in their homes and till their own land. Another woman from Aleppo got restrictions on humanitarian access lifted by offering food to regime soldiers at the checkpoints. If that isn’t courage under fire, I don’t know what is.
It’s not just in Syria that women offer us hope for resolution to conflict. Women are vital to our shared goals of prosperity, stability and peace. That’s as true when it comes to ending our battles as it is jumpstarting our economies. The fact is that women bear the greatest burden in war. But their voices are too rarely heard in negotiating peace.
That has to change.
Countries that value and empower women to participate fully in decision-making are more stable, prosperous, and secure. The opposite is also true. When women are excluded from negotiations, the peace that follows is more tenuous. Trust is eroded, and human rights and accountability are often ignored.
In too many countries, treaties are designed by combatants for combatants. It should come as no surprise, then, that more than half of all peace agreements fail within the first 10 years of signature. The inclusion of women in peace building and conflict prevention can reverse that trend.
So how do we get there?
Evidence from around the world has shown that deadly conflicts are more likely to be prevented, and peace best forged and protected, when women are included as equal partners.
That’s why we are working to support women in conflict and post-conflict areas around the world.
In Afghanistan, we are advocating for the inclusion and election of women at all levels of governance. Afghan women today are marching forward in ways unimaginable just 10 years ago. They’re starting companies. They’re serving as members of parliament. They’re teaching in schools and working as doctors and nurses. They are the foundation upon which Afghanistan’s future is being built.
As the people of Burma work to resolve the conflict that has plagued their nation for decades, the United States is supporting the meaningful participation of women in the peace process and inter-communal peace initiatives.
We know that the security of women is essential to their participation in peace building. That’s why we are working to ensure women get equal access to humanitarian assistance and relief, wherever we work.
The United States is also leading by example. My sister has worked for many years at the United Nations, following in the State Department footsteps of our father many years before I did myself. She’s a trailblazer. But she’s not alone. It’s no coincidence that some of our top diplomats and peace negotiators are women – from National Security Advisor Susan Rice, to U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, to Deputy Secretary of State Heather Higginbottom, to Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman. Today, all but one of the State Department’s Regional Assistant Secretaries are women.
We celebrate their accomplishments not just because they are women, but because their work around the world will make all people – men and women, boys and girls – more secure.
Peace is not the absence of conflict. It is the presence of every member of society working together to promote stability and prosperity.
No country can succeed unless every citizen is empowered to contribute to its future. And no peace can endure if women are not afforded a central role. So today, we mark the miles women have traveled around the world – but more importantly we commit to the next miles of the journey.
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 6, 2014
As President Obama has made clear, the United States is pursuing and reviewing a wide range of options in response to Russia’s ongoing violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity – actions that constitute a threat to peace and security and a breach of international law, including Russia’s obligations under the UN Charter and of its 1997 military basing agreement with Ukraine, and that are inconsistent with the 1994 Budapest Memorandum and the Helsinki Final Act.
Pursuant to the President’s guidance, today the State Department is putting in place visa restrictions on a number of officials and individuals, reflecting a policy decision to deny visas to those responsible for or complicit in threatening the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. This new step stands in addition to the policy already implemented to deny visas to those involved in human rights abuses related to political oppression in Ukraine.
In addition, the President has signed an Executive Order that authorizes sanctions on individuals and entities responsible for activities undermining democratic processes or institutions in Ukraine; threatening the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine; contributing to the misappropriation of state assets of Ukraine; or purporting to assert governmental authority over any part of Ukraine without authorization from the Ukrainian government in Kyiv. This E.O. is a flexible tool that will allow us to sanction those who are most directly involved in destabilizing Ukraine, including the military intervention in Crimea, and does not preclude further steps should the situation deteriorate.
These actions build upon the previous actions the United States has taken, including suspending bilateral discussions with Russia on trade and investment; suspending other bilateral meetings on a case-by-case basis; putting on hold U.S.-Russia military-to-military engagement, including exercises, bilateral meetings, port visits, and planning conferences; and our agreement with G-7 nations to suspend for the time being our participation in activities associated with the preparation of the scheduled G-8 Summit in Sochi in June. Depending on how the situation develops, the United States is prepared to consider additional steps and sanctions as necessary.
At the same time, as the President has said, we seek to work with all parties to achieve a diplomatic solution that de-escalates the situation and restores Ukraine’s sovereignty. We call on Russia to take the opportunity before it to resolve this crisis through direct and immediate dialogue with the Government of Ukraine, the immediate pull-back of Russia’s military forces to their bases, the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, and support for the urgent deployment of international observers and human rights monitors who can assure that the rights of all Ukrainians are protected, including ethnic Russians, and who can support the Ukrainian government’s efforts to hold a free and fair election on May 25.
As we follow developments in Ukraine closely, the United States reaffirms its unwavering commitment to our collective defense commitments under the North Atlantic Treaty. We will continue to pursue measures that reinforce those commitments, to include the provision of additional support to NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission and our aviation detachment in Poland.
2014ukraineblocking.eo.Rel by Abby Rogers
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release March 6, 2014
- - - - - -
BLOCKING PROPERTY OF CERTAIN PERSONS CONTRIBUTING
TO THE SITUATION IN UKRAINE
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.) (NEA), section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (8 U.S.C. 1182(f)), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code,
I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, find that the actions and policies of persons — including persons who have asserted governmental authority in the Crimean region without the authorization of the Government of Ukraine — that undermine democratic processes and institutions in Ukraine; threaten its peace, security, stability, sovereignty, and territorial integrity; and contribute to the misappropriation of its assets, constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States, and I hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat. I hereby order:
Section 1. (a) All property and interests in property that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of any United States person (including any foreign branch) of the following persons are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in: any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State:
(i) to be responsible for or complicit in, or to have engaged in, directly or indirectly, any of the following:
(A) actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in Ukraine;
(B) actions or policies that threaten the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine; or
(C) misappropriation of state assets of Ukraine or of an economically significant entity in Ukraine;
(ii) to have asserted governmental authority over any part or region of Ukraine without the authorization of the Government of Ukraine;
(iii) to be a leader of an entity that has, or whose members have, engaged in any activity described in subsection (a)(i) or (a)(ii) of this section or of an entity whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order;
(iv) to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, any activity described in subsection (a)(i) or (a)(ii) of this section or any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; or
(v) to be owned or controlled by, or to have acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order.
(b) The prohibitions in subsection (a) of this section apply except to the extent provided by statutes, or in regulations, orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued pursuant to this order, and notwithstanding any contract entered into or any license or permit granted prior to the effective date of this order.
Sec. 2. I hereby find that the unrestricted immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the United States of aliens determined to meet one or more of the criteria in subsection 1(a) of this order would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and I hereby suspend entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of such persons. Such persons shall be treated as persons covered by section 1 of Proclamation 8693 of July 24, 2011 (Suspension of Entry of Aliens Subject to United Nations Security Council Travel Bans and International Emergency Economic Powers Act Sanctions).
Sec. 3. I hereby determine that the making of donations of the type of articles specified in section 203(b)(2) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1702(b)(2)) by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to section 1 of this order would seriously impair my ability to deal with the national emergency declared in this order, and I hereby prohibit such donations as provided by section 1 of this order.
Sec. 4. The prohibitions in section 1 of this order include but are not limited to:
(a) the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; and
(b) the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.
Sec. 5. (a) Any transaction that evades or avoids, has the purpose of evading or avoiding, causes a violation of, or attempts to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.
(b) Any conspiracy formed to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.
Sec. 6. For the purposes of this order:
(a) the term “person” means an individual or entity;
(b) the term “entity” means a partnership, association, trust, joint venture, corporation, group, subgroup, or other organization; and
(c) the term “United States person” means any United States citizen, permanent resident alien, entity organized under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction within the United States (including foreign branches), or any person in the United States.
Sec. 7. For those persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order who might have a constitutional presence in the United States, I find that because of the ability to transfer funds or other assets instantaneously, prior notice to such persons of measures to be taken pursuant to this order would render those measures ineffectual. I therefore determine that for these measures to be effective in addressing the national emergency declared in this order, there need be no prior notice of a listing or determination made pursuant to section 1 of this order.
Sec. 8. The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, is hereby authorized to take such actions, including the promulgation of rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to the President by IEEPA, as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this order. The Secretary of the Treasury may redelegate any of these functions to other officers and agencies of the United States Government consistent with applicable law. All agencies of the United States Government are hereby directed to take all appropriate measures within their authority to carry out the provisions of this order.
Sec. 9. The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, is hereby authorized to submit the recurring and final reports to the Congress on the national emergency declared in this order, consistent with section 401(c) of the NEA (50 U.S.C. 1641(c)) and section 204(c) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1703(c)).
Sec. 10. This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
THE WHITE HOUSE,
March 6, 2014.
# # #
Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Ukraine’s interim President, Oleksandr Turchynov, and Ukrainian Prime Minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk in Kiev on March 4, 2014. (Photo by: Yury Kirnichny)
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
March 4, 2014
President Obama has made clear that the United States will continue to support the Government of Ukraine, including economically. We have been working closely with international partners to develop an assistance package that will provide rapid financial and technical assistance to help Ukraine restore economic stability and conduct free, fair, and inclusive new elections that will allow the Ukrainian people to continue to make democratic choices about their future.
The new Ukrainian government has inherited an economy with enormous potential but that is currently financially fragile and uncompetitive. The Government of Ukraine has said publicly that it will work to meet these urgent challenges. As the government implements important reforms, the United States will work with its bilateral and multilateral partners to ensure that Ukraine has sufficient financing to restore financial stability and return to growth.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is already engaging to help stabilize the Ukrainian economy. We understand thatan IMF mission is currently in Kyiv working with the Ukrainian government at their request. The IMF will be at the front lines of an international package for Ukraine and is positioned to support robust and market-oriented reforms needed to restore Ukraine to economic health, including via providing large-scale financing and technical support. At the same time, the United States is working alongside international partners and the Government of Ukraine to assemble a package of assistance to complement and support an IMF program.
As part of this international effort, the United States has developed a package of bilateral assistance focused on meeting Ukraine’s most pressing needs and helping Ukraine to enact the reforms needed to make its IMF program a success. We are working with Congress to approve the 2010 IMF quota legislation, which would support the IMF’s capacity to lend additional resources to Ukraine, while also helping to preserve continued U.S. leadership within this important institution. We are ready to work with Congress and the Government of Ukraine to provide U.S. loan guarantees and other financial and technical assistance to address Ukraine’s four most urgent needs:
- Critical assistance with economic reforms, including by cushioning their impact on vulnerable Ukrainians: The U.S. Administration is working with Congress and the Government of Ukraine to provide $1 billion in loan guarantees aimed at helping insulate vulnerable Ukrainians from the effects of reduced energy subsidies. At the same time, the United States is moving quickly to provide technical expertise to help the National Bank of Ukraine and the Ministry of Finance address their most pressing challenges. The United States is dispatching highly experienced technical advisors to help the Ukrainian financial authorities manage immediate market pressures. The United States will also provide expertise to help Ukraine implement critical energy sector reforms.
- Conducting free, fair, and inclusive elections: The United States will provide technical assistance to train election observers, help bring electoral processes in line with international standards, and promote robust participation by civil society organizations and a free and independent media.
- Combatting corruption and recovering stolen assets: The United States is preparing to help the government respond to the clear demands of the Ukrainian people for more robust safeguards against corruption and additional efforts to recover assets stolen from the people of Ukraine. The United States will support the government as it takes tangible steps to reduce corruption and increase transparency, including in areas such as e-government and public procurement. The United States is deploying an interagency team of experts to Kyiv this week to begin to work with their Ukrainian counterparts to identify assets that may have been stolen, identify their current location, and assist in returning those assets to Ukraine.
- Withstanding politically motivated trade actions by Russia, including in the area of energy: The United States is preparing to provide technical advice to the Ukrainian government on Ukraine’s WTO rights with respect to trade with Russia. At the same time the United States is ready to provide assistance and financing to help Ukrainian businesses find new export markets and adjust to trade pressures and to enhance energy efficiency, helping to reduce dependence on imported gas.
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel arrived at NATO Headquarters in Brussels to participate in two days of meetings. The Ministerial brought together defense ministers from NATO’s 28 Allied countries to discuss a range of topics, including Ukraine, NATO capabilities, and Afghanistan.
With a packed schedule ahead of him, Secretary Hagel made his way to NATO a few hours before the official start of the Ministerial. He sat down to talk about ISAF and Afghanistan with Commander of the International Security Assistance Force (COMISAF) and United States Forces-Afghanistan, General Joseph Dunford. They were joined by Supreme Allied Commander of Europe (SACEUR), General Philip Breedlove, for a working lunch.
There were two official meetings of the North Atlantic Council (NAC) with ministers on Wednesday; the first which focused on NATO capabilities (military assets), where ministers talked about ensuring that NATO remains ready and able to face the challenges of the future. The Secretary General of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasumssen, said in his remarks later that evening:
“We need to take a long hard look at the most effective way to work together to close those gaps. We will also push ahead with our plans to defend against the threats of the future, such as missile and cyber attacks. We also need to make sure that our forces keep the skills that they have learned over two decades of operations. We need to make sure that all our troops, including our special forces, stay able to work together effortlessly and seamlessly.”
Ministers also discussed the situation in Ukraine, and released a statement where they reaffirmed their support “We emphasize the importance of an inclusive political process based on democratic values, respect for human rights, minorities and the rule of law, which fulfils the democratic aspirations of the entire Ukrainian people.”
Statement by NATO Defence Ministers on Ukraine by USNATO
In between NAC sessions, Secretary Hagel held private, bilateral meetings with the defense ministers of several Allied nations, including Spanish Minister Pedro Morenés Eulate, French Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, Danish Minister Nicolai Wammen, and new Italian Minister Roberta Pinotti. Following a full day of meetings, Secretary Hagel and the other 27 NATO Defense Ministers kept working into the night at a private dinner at NATO HQ.
On Thursday February 27th, Ministers arrived ready to discuss Afghanistan in an ISAF session of the NAC. It included 28 NATO Allied nations, and ISAF contributing states.This was followed by a NATO-Ukraine Commission meetings of the 28 nations and Ukraine.
After meetings concluded, Secretary Hagel gave remarks about what he had discussed with ministers, and his views on the situation in Ukraine:
On capabilities, “As an alliance, we must invest in global reach, technological superiority and leading-edge capabilities like cyber and special operations. In our discussions on capabilities, I emphasize that we must focus not only on how much we spend, but how we spend it strategically and is it effective, and are we together.”
On Afghanistan, “this ministerial was an opportunity to take stock on what we have accomplished together over the last 13 years. There is much to be proud of…..As we look beyond the end of our combat mission this year, I told ISAF ministers that the United States continues to support planning for a non-combat NATO-led mission that would train, advise and assist Afghan forces after 2014. But the longer we go without a bilateral security agreement and a NATO status of forces agreement, the more challenging it will be for the United States and other ISAF nations to support, plan and execute this post-2014 mission.That’s why earlier this week, President Obama directed the U.S. military to begin additional contingency planning. We will ensure that adequate plans are in place to accomplish an orderly withdrawal by the end of the year should the United States not keep any troops in Afghanistan after 2014.”
On the situation in Ukraine, “…today I affirm America’s strong support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. And NATO defense ministers made the same declaration in a joint statement. We expect other nations to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and avoid provocative actions. That’s why I’m closely watching Russia’s military exercises along the Ukrainian border, which they announced, as you know, yesterday. I expect Russia to be transparent about these activities. And I urge them not to take any steps that could be misinterpreted or lead to miscalculation during a very delicate time, a time of great tension. It’s important for all nations with an interest in a peaceful future for Ukraine to work together transparently to support a Ukrainian government that fulfills the aspirations of its people. Our session today also focused on Ukraine’s opportunities for defense reform and our ongoing military-to-military cooperation, including Ukraine’s participation in NATO operations. And we welcomed the Ukrainian armed forces’ responsible decision to exercise restraint amidst the nation’s political turmoil.”
Upon concluding remarks and taking questions, Secretary Hagel had one final bilateral meeting with Bulgarian Defense Minister Angel Naydenov, and then departed Brussels, thanking US Ambassador Doug Lute on his way out.
(All photos DoD by Glenn Fawcett. See Day 1 & Day 2)
Over the last two days, my fellow ministers and I have had important discussions about the future of our alliance and on the capabilities we need for that future. We also talked about the ISAF mission in Afghanistan; and about NATO’s defense relationship with Ukraine – a relationship that is particularly important given the political change unfolding there.
Let me address each of these areas.
Read the rest of the remarks…
Defense Ministers from (R-L): Italy, Norway, Germany, Netherlands, and Albania.
NATO Defense Ministers pose for a photo in between meetings in Brussels. Feb 26, 2014, Photo by Glenn Fawcett