Joint Chiefs Chairman Dempsey Discusses Cooperation On Ukraine Observers With Gen. Gerasimov
April 28, 2014 • 7:51AM

Speaking to reporters in Dallas on Saturday, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey confirmed that he talked with his Russian counterpart, Gen. Valery Gerasimov, on Thursday about Ukraine.

According to Associated Press, Dempsey talked about cooperation between the U.S. and Russia saying, "We've got observers from the OSCE, some of whom have been denied access by pro-Russian groups, and I suggested to him that one way we could contribute to some kind of stable outcome would be if he on his side and me on my side could seek to get those observers in there so that we could have a neutral party tell us what's going on."

Dempsey told the press that he expressed "concern about Russia's recent military actions," said the Dallas Morning News, one of two media that published his statements following a veterans' conference in Dallas.

"Russia's aggressiveness in Eastern Europe on the basis as they've said, of protecting Russians from other governments is extraordinarily unsettling to Eastern Europe because there are ethnic Russian enclaves throughout Eastern Europe," Dempsey told the newspaper. But, in contrast to other Administration hype, Gen. Dempsey did not say that Russia was invading Ukraine nor did he repeat media reports that Russia had invaded Ukrainian airspace with overflights.

On the overflights issue, Dempsey said that he had heard about the press reports, but he had not yet seen U.S. intelligence reports on the matter. However, despite the lack of confirmation, the U.S. government-created and -funded Voice of America had given wide reporting to the "dodgy" story about Russian overflights denied by the Russian Defense Ministry.