Pentagon announces $150mn in security assistance for Ukraine


The Pentagon has announced $150 million of security assistance package for Ukraine to enhance its defense capability.

The US will provide Ukraine with counter-artillery radars, counter-unmanned aerial systems, secure communications gear, electronic warfare and military medical evacuation equipment, and training and equipment to improve the operational safety and capacity of Ukrainian Air Force bases, according to a Pentagon statement, Xinhua reported.

The statement said that the package represents the remaining funds appropriated by Congress for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) in Fiscal Year 2021, which ends on September 30.

The US had provided $125 million of security assistance to Ukraine this March.

The package “is made possible by the Defense Department, in coordination with the Department of State, certifying that Ukraine has made sufficient progress on defense reforms this year,” it added.

The Pentagon said the US had provided over $2.5 billion in security aid to Ukraine since 2014. Crimea was incorporated into Russia in March 2014, following a popular referendum, which Ukraine and the West never recognized.

US President Joe Biden on Monday reaffirmed his support to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in a call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, an effort to reassure Kiev ahead of the US-Russia summit scheduled on June 16 in Geneva.

The ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine, which began in April 2014, has claimed some 14,000 lives and left as many as 40,000 wounded. Kiev has repeatedly blamed Moscow for inciting the conflict. Russia, however, has denied the charges, saying the accusations are groundless.