Hagel to Russia: Don’t take action that may be misinterpreted

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel urged Russia not to take action on Ukraine that “could be misinterpreted.” Speaking Thursday at the NATO defense ministers’ conference in Brussels, he laid stress on the strong US support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty “at this delicate time” and the need to “avoid provocations.” Hagel said his staff was trying to set up a phone call to Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu. Earlier, he spoke with Ukrainian officials.  Asked by reporters whether the US planned practical steps in response to Russia’s combat alert, Hagel declined to reply.

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