In his remarks, Hagel focused on U.S. diplomatic and aid efforts since Moscow's incursion into Ukrainian territory and said he would speak later Wednesday with Ukraine's new defense minister. U.S. Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey spoke to his Russian counterpart earlier in the day. Neither Hagel nor Dempsey mentioned military options.
"I urge continued restraint in the days ahead in order to preserve room for a diplomatic solution," Dempsey told the Senate panel.
Meanwhile, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe sent a team of 35 unarmed military observers to Crimea on Wednesday at the fledgling government's request.
"They will not be contented with assurances that these people are volunteers, who bought their uniforms in a shop," Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak said of the troops without insignia who have taken control of airports, administrative buildings and military bases in Crimea. The hope is to learn "who is in power there and conclusions the OSCE should draw from that."
Financial markets settled down Wednesday after two days of big swings, a sign that investors believe the risk of war has been averted.
"In terms of the international stage," said analyst Joao Monteiro, "this does seem to have moved on from looking like a game of poker to one of chess."
Danilova reported from Kiev. Associated Press writers Juergen Baetz in Brussels, Laura Mills in Moscow, Monika Scislowska in Warsaw, Poland, Greg Keller, and Sylvie Corbet in Paris, Julie Pace in Washington, and Pan Pylas in London contributed. Follow Lara Jakes at: https://twitter.com/larajakesAP. Follow Juergen Baetz at: https://twitter.com/jbaetz. Follow Lori Hinnant at: https://twitter.com/lhinnant
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