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US Dpty Defense Sec announces support for NATO's eastern flank in context of Russian policy on Ukraine's border – Pentagon

WASHINGTON. Nov 26 (Interfax) – U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Kathleen Hicks reaffirmed U.S. support for NATO allies on the eastern flank of the alliance and NATO’s cooperation with the European Union, the Pentagon said.

"The Deputy Secretary affirmed the U.S. commitment to NATO’s eastern flank and commented on recent Russian activity around Ukraine, the migrant crisis on the Belarusian-EU border, and strategic competition with the Peoples’ Republic of China," the message posted by Pentagon reads.

Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Kathleen Hicks virtually addressed NATO eastern flank Allies at the Bucharest-Nine (B9) Defense Ministerial in Romania on Thursday. Co-hosted by Romania and Poland, this forum brought together B9 defense ministers from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, and Slovakia to discuss recent events in the region, defense cooperation, NATO strategic priorities, and EU-NATO cooperation.

She underscored that "EU defense initiatives should remain coherent, mutually reinforcing, interoperable with, and available to NATO."

Details of the address are not provided.

The Bucharest-Nine was established in 2014. It was formed by NATO and is designed to consolidate the alliance’s eastern flank.