The United States is halting all military engagement with Russia due to the crisis in Ukraine — including military exercises, meetings and port visits, the Pentagon said Monday.
"Although the Department of Defense finds value in the military-to-military relationship with the Russian Federation we have developed over the past few years to increase transparency, build understanding, and reduce the risk of military miscalculation we have, in light of recent events in Ukraine, put on hold all military-to-military engagements between the United States and Russia. This includes exercises, bilateral meetings, port visits and planning conferences," Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement.
"We call on Russia to de-escalate the crisis in Ukraine and for Russian forces in Crimea to return to their bases, as required under the agreements governing the Russia Black Sea Fleet," he added.
Kirby also noted that while "some media outlets are speculating on possible ship movements in the region," the Pentagon has not made a "change to our military posture in Europe or the Mediterranean."
— Jim Miklaszewski and Courtney Kube
First published March 3 2014, 5:06 PM