Mattis to back Kiev’s claim to Crimea during Ukraine visit
US Defense Secretary James Mattis will visit Ukraine next week and reassure the government in Kiev that the US still considers Crimea a part of the country’s territory, the Pentagon said. Mattis will tell Kiev the US is “firmly committed to the goal of restoring Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Mattis will stop in Kiev on his way back from Jordan and Turkey. His visit follows the trip by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in July. Both the Pentagon and State Department have endorsed a plan to sell US weapons to Ukraine.
Crimea voted to rejoin Russia in March 2014, after a US-backed coup in Kiev brought into power a nationalist coalition that included neo-Nazis.