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US welcomes 'restraint' by Ukraine forces

US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel at the Senate Hart Building in Washington, DC, on March 5, 2014Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel thanked his Ukrainian counterpart Friday for what he said was the admirable restraint the country’s armed forces have shown in a tense stand-off with Russia. In a morning phone call to Defense Minister Igor Tenyukh, Hagel reiterated Washington’s strong support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said. “He praised the performance and the restraint of the Ukrainian armed forces, who have not allowed the situation to escalate,” Kirby told reporters. The Pentagon also confirmed reports that Russia has deployed more forces to the Crimean peninsula over the past week.

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