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US will work effectively with new Ukraine military chief -Pentagon official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has a right to choose who leads Ukraine's military and the United States will work effectively with his new military chief, a senior Pentagon official said on Thursday.

"President Zelenskiy is the president of his country and Ukraine, unlike Russia, has a democratic civilian control of the military," said Celeste Wallander, the assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs at the Pentagon.

Zelenskiy promoted Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi, the ground forces commander, to lead the military, replacing Valeriy Zaluzhnyi.

Wallander called Syrskyi "an experienced, successful commander".

"The United States respects and will work with whoever the democratically elected government, the leader, President Zelenskiy, chooses to be his commander in chief and we will work effectively with General Syrskyi, we already have," Wallander added.

(Reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by Peter Graff)