US halts military engagements with Russia over Ukraine crisis

By on Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

The United States on Monday suspended all military engagements with Russia because of the crisis in Ukraine, including military exercises and port visits, as part of Washington’s response to Moscow’s seizure of Crimea.

The announcement from the Pentagon came hours after President Barack Obama warned the U.S. government will look at a series of economic and diplomatic sanctions that would isolate Moscow.

“We call on Russia to de-escalate the crisis in Ukraine and for Russian forces in Crimea to return to their bases,” Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement.

The U.S. military does not take such steps lightly and took no such action, for example, last year during turmoil in Egypt that saw the army topple the country’s first freely elected leader.

Military-to-military contacts help bridge gaps between nations and reduce chances of misunderstandings, officials often say.

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