Pentagon announces $250 million security assistance to Ukraine

by Abdulmumeen S. Yitta
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The Pentagon has announced its move to go ahead with the a $250 million security assistance package to Ukraine.

The departmemt said on Thursday June 11, 2020, that half of the package would be conditional on Ukraine’s progress on reforms and anti-corruption efforts.

While announcing this, the Pentagon in a statement said, “The Department of Defense announced today its plans for $250 million in Fiscal Year 2020 Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative funds for additional training, equipment, and advisory efforts to strengthen Ukraine’s capacity to more effectively defend itself against Russian aggression.”

“Funds — $125 million of which was conditional on Ukraine’s progress on defense reforms — will provide equipment to support ongoing training programs and operational needs,” the statement reads.

“These security cooperation programs are made possible by Ukraine’s continued progress on key defense institutional and anticorruption reforms,” the statement adds.

The Pentagon also confirmed that the package is an indication of the strong defence relationship between the US and the Ukraine.

Speaking on this, the Pentagon said that the package reaffirmed “The long-standing defense relationship between the United States and Ukraine — a critical partner on the front line of strategic competition with Russia. The United States remains steadfast in its support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.”

Given the bipartisan support for rendering arm support to the Ukraine, there is possibility that the house would accept the package to Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Trump administration had earlier frozen the the Ukraine Security assistance, with many of the Trump’s officials citing corruption in Ukraine as the reason for the freezing.

In this regard, after a review of the condtions for freezing the security aid to Ukraine last year, the Government Accountability Office, a nonpartisan congressional watchdog, found that Mr. Trump broke the law for refusing aid already appropriated by Congress to Ukraine.

The Government Accountability Office established that the Impoundment Control Act, a 1974 law limiting the the White House from withholding funds that Congress has appropriated was violated by the hite House budget office.

The recent package would also include mobile radar systems to detect and track incoming artillery and rocket fire, several ambulnces, communications equipment, with 100 tactical tablets and patrol boats with remote controlled 30mm cannons.

The armed patrol boats to be supplied to Ukraine is necessitated by the the inicreased tentions between Ukraine and Russia in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.

While with the artillery radar the Ukraine forces would be able to detect where the enemy fire originate from given the exchange of fires going on in the frontline.

Ukraine and Russia have seen increase tensions between them especially since 2014 Russia seized Crimea and annexed same from Ukraine.

Following a clash in the Kerch Strait that connects the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, Ukrainian vessels were seized while 24 Ukrainian sailors were captured by the Russian forces in 2018.

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