- Associated Press - Friday, March 14, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. officials say the Pentagon is sending 25,000 cases of military prepackaged meals to Ukraine, in response to a wide-ranging request from that country for some rifles, ammunition, medicine and other supplies for its troops.

The officials say the meals ready to eat - known as MREs - have not yet been delivered but are in the pipeline.

The U.S. also is keeping the naval aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush in the Mediterranean Sea for several more days, as part of the U.S. effort to reassure allies in the region in the wake of Russia’s military intervention into Ukraine’s Crimea region.

The moves come as the U.S. continued to condemn Russia’s action while also steering clear of any direct military assistance or involvement in the crisis.

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