Hagel Warns Ukraine Against Using Military Against Demonstrators

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 12, 2013 – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel yesterday warned his Ukrainian counterpart against using the military to quell demonstrations over President Viktor Yanukovych’s decision to shelve a trade agreement with the European Union.

Hagel spoke by phone with Ukrainian Defense Minister Pavlo Lebedyev, Assistant Pentagon Press Secretary Carl Woog said in a statement summarizing the call.

“Secretary Hagel warned Minister Lebedyev not to use the armed forces of Ukraine against the civilian population in any fashion,” Woog said. “He underlined the potential damage of any involvement by the military in breaking up the demonstrations and called for restraint.”

Lebedyev stated that it is Yanukovych’s position not to use the armed forces against the protestors, Woog added, and said he would pass Hagel’s message directly to Yanukovych.

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