2014-03-19T141322Z_1_CBREA2I13IE00_RTROPTP_2_UKRAINE-CRISIS-USA-HAGEL

Pentagon chief to meet top U.S. business leaders amid Ukraine crisis

U.S. Secretary of Defense Hagel addresses a news conference during a NATO defence ministers meeting in BrusselsDefense Secretary Chuck Hagel will speak to chief executives of major U.S. companies on Wednesday to explain the Pentagon’s 2015 budget proposal and to field possible questions about the economic impact of rising tensions with Russia. Hagel will address members of the Business Roundtable on Wednesday afternoon, filling in for Vice President Joe Biden who was originally scheduled to speak to the group but is traveling, said Rear Admiral John Kirby, a top Pentagon spokesman. Kirby said Hagel will discuss the Defense Department’s $496 billion budget proposal for the 2015 fiscal year and the strategy underlying the plan.

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