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US senator praises Ukraine's achievements in defense sphere in last six months

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Aug. 10, 2012, 5:14 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine

Ukrainian Defense Minister Dmytro Salamatin
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U.S. Senator Richard Lugar has congratulated Ukrainian Defense Minister Dmytro Salamatin on his successes at the ministry, according to the press service of the Defense Ministry of Ukraine.

"Your work as defense minister of Ukraine over half a year has been effective. The number of aircraft that flew over Ukrainian cities to mark Day of the Air Force of Ukraine is the best confirmation of this. You proved to everyone that despite the problems, the authorities are doing everything to ensure a reliable defense of citizens. I congratulate you on the results you've achieved as defense minister of Ukraine," Lugar said at a meeting with Salamatin, according to the Defense Ministry's press service.

U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine John Tefft, Head of the Secretariat of the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Kenneth A. Myers, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense Andrew C. Weber, and U.S. military attaches accredited in Ukraine also took part in the meeting. The sides discussed the current state and development prospects of cooperation between Ukraine and the United States in the defense sphere aimed at expanding of bilateral cooperation.

Salamatin briefed the U.S. delegation on the key aspects of reform in the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

"We directed our efforts to bringing our army in line with the best military standards of the world's leading militaries. We are restoring the combat effectiveness of our military forces. We are working on new field manuals and other documents. I'm sure that in some year-and-a-half or two years Ukraine will have armed forces of absolutely new quality, and the world's leading militaries will get a new, reliable partner," he said.

In turn, Weber said that the U.S. president's administration appreciates changes that have taken place in Ukraine's defense sphere over the last six months.

He also stressed that improvement of relations with key partners, one of which is Ukraine, is an important aspect of the U.S. defense strategy, and the United States is ready to work on new joint projects with Ukraine.

Lugar added that he highly appreciates the level of cooperation and mutual understanding that has been established between Ukraine and the United States over 20 years, and thanked the Ukrainian side for the meeting.

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