Pentagon Halts Military Cooperation with Russia

The Defense Department has suspended all military cooperation with Russia as a result of Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine, reported the Associated Press. This includes exercises, bilateral meetings, port visits, and planning conferences, Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters on March 3. The two militaries had been preparing for a joint naval exercise in May, reported the Wall Street Journal. “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,” said Kirby. Less than seven months ago, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoygu said they were committed to building “a robust agenda” for military cooperation. Kirby’s announcement came on the eve of Secretary of State John Kerry arriving in Ukraine for meetings with the new Ukrainian government, and the ambassadors of all 28 NATO members meeting in Brussels at the request of member state Poland for special consultations on the situation in Ukraine.