WASHINGTON, April 10 (Xinhua) -- En route home from his Asia- Pacific trip Thursday, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel placed an in-flight call to Ukraine's Acting Minister of Defense Mykhaylo Koval, reaffirming American help to Ukraine.
According to Pentagon's Assistant Press Secretary Carl Woog, Hagel spoke by phone with Koval on his return flight from Beijing to Washington, D.C.. It was their first conversation since the Ukrainian official took office last month.
Hagel told Minister Koval that the United States will continue to stand with Ukraine. They both pledged to remain in close contact going forward, Woog said in a statement.
Hagel commended Koval for his leadership of the Armed Forces during this critical time for Ukraine and thanked him for hosting recent bilateral defense consultations in Kiev, capital of Ukraine, Woog said.
The two defense officials also discussed the situation in Crimea, as well as Russia's military activities along Ukraine's borders.