March 20, 2014 U.S. European Command Public Affairs
U.S. European Command spokesman Navy Capt. Greg Hicks, director of Communication and Engagement, provided the following readout:
"During a conference held Wednesday, March 19, in Split, Croatia, attendees discussed the situation in Ukraine and Crimea, post-ISAF threats and missions, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR), smart defense and the Connected Forces Initiative (CFI), and preserving interoperability – all with the goal of greater security through regional partnering.
"The defense ministers reinforced the importance of NATO and their alliance and partnerships emphasizing proven partnerships built on shared values, experiences and vision. Additionally, they reaffirmed their belief that regional stability and security are dependent on respect for each nation’s sovereignty, and all are committed to a stable and secure Europe.
“Each minister also stated they continue to support their countries focused efforts to de-escalate the crisis in Ukraine, support the new Ukrainian government, and reaffirmed their commitment to each other and their allies and partners in Central and Eastern Europe.
“Lastly, all attendees confirmed to keep in close contact with each other through frequent dialogue at the executive and working levels, and appreciated the opportunity to connect at the conference.”