The United States condemns Russia's aggressive and provocative actions aimed at escalating the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine, U.S. Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin says.
His statement came during a phone call with the Ukrainian Minister of Defence Andrii Taran to discuss the regional security situation, the Pentagon reported.
"Secretary Austin reaffirmed unwavering U.S. support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and Euro-Atlantic aspirations. He condemned recent escalations of Russian aggressive and provocative actions in eastern Ukraine," the report wrote.
It also said that U.S. Secretary of Defence offered condolences to Minister Taran on the deaths of four Ukrainian soldiers on March 26.
"Secretary Austin reiterated the U.S. commitment to building the capacity of Ukraine’s forces to defend more effectively against Russian aggression," it added.
Since 2014, according to the statement, the United States has committed more than $2 billion in security assistance to Ukraine, including a recently announced $125 million package that featured defensive weapons and other key capabilities to enhance the lethality, command and control, and situational awareness of Ukraine’s Armed Forces.