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US freezes military ties with Russia

March 04, 2014, 9:22 UTC+3 WASHINGTON
The United States has suspended all military engagements with Russia, including military exercises and port visits, in connection with the latest developments in Ukraine
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US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel

© EPA/MICHAEL REYNOLDS

WASHINGTON, March 04. /ITAR-TASS/. The United States has suspended all military engagements with Russia, including military exercises and port visits, in connection with the latest developments in Ukraine, the Pentagon said in a statement on Monday.

Although the US Defense Department found military relations with Russia "valuable", "we have, in light of recent events in Ukraine, put on hold all military-to-military engagements." Its suspension also applied to bilateral military meetings and planning conferences, the department said.

The Defense Department noted they continued watching the situation in Ukraine and stayed in contacts with allies and partners.

"We call on Russia to de-escalate the crisis in Ukraine and for Russian forces in Crimea to return to their bases," a Pentagon spokesman, John Kirby, said.

The Pentagon denied media reports that in connection with the developments in Ukraine, the United States decided to send its warships to the region. The US naval forces were continuing routine earlier-planned operations and exercises with allies and partners in the region, the Pentagon said.

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