U.S. announces $125 million defense aid package to strengthen and modernize Ukraine forces
The Pentagon has announced a $125 million military aid package for Ukraine.
The Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) includes training, equipment, and advisory efforts to help Ukraine’s forces preserve the country’s territorial integrity, secure its borders, and improve interoperability with NATO. The USAI package also includes two additional armed Mark VI patrol boats to enhance Ukraine’s capacity to patrol and defend its territorial waters.
“This action reaffirms the U.S. commitment to providing defensive lethal weapons to enable Ukraine to more effectively defend itself against Russian aggression” the Department of Defense said.
The defense aid package also includes capabilities to enhance the lethality, command and control, and situational awareness of Ukraine’s forces through the provision of additional counter-artillery radars and tactical equipment; continued support for a satellite imagery and analysis capability; and equipment to support military medical treatment and combat evacuation procedures.
The remaining $150 million in military aid approved by Congress for the 2021 budget year will be provided when the DoD, in coordination with the Department of State, certifies that Ukraine has made sufficient progress on key defense reforms this year under the requirement by the National Defense Authorization Act.
“The Department encourages Ukraine to continue to enact reforms that strengthen civilian control of the military, promote increased transparency and accountability in defense industry and procurement, and modernize its defense sector in other key areas in line with NATO principles and standards,” the Pentagon said in its statement.
The United States has committed more than $2 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since 2014 and says that it remains committed to assisting Ukraine with the implementation of these reforms to advance its Euro-Atlantic aspirations to support secure, prosperous, democratic, and free Ukraine.