The Pentagon says it will send $150 million in defense aid to Ukraine, which will include funding for training, equipment, and consultation.
The package “includes capabilities to enhance the lethality, command, and control, and situational awareness of Ukraine’s forces through the provision of 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 June 11 statement.
While the funds were already committed to Ukraine by Congress, the statement goes into detail about how the money is to be spent. The Defense Department didn’t make mention of the Russia–Ukraine conflict along Ukraine’s eastern border, although President Joe Biden last week told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that he will attempt to bolster the country’s territorial integrity ahead of Biden’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin that’s slated for June 16 in Switzerland.
Since 2014, when Russia moved to annex Crimea, the United States has sent more than $2.5 billion in assistance to Ukraine.
The Pentagon says Ukraine needs to enact reforms to “better align Ukraine’s defense enterprise with the core NATO principle of democratic civilian control of the military” as well as adopt a defense strategy that “better supports the needs of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, bolsters Ukraine’s economic competitiveness, and improves corporate governance; adopt foreign direct investment controls based on national security interests; increase efficiency and transparency in the defense procurement cycle, and advance human resources management reforms to align the Ukrainian Armed Forces with a Western-style career management system.”
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby told reporters on June 11 that the aid was released after the administration “was able to certify that Ukraine has made sufficient progress on defense reforms this year.”
Meanwhile, the United States allocated some $125 million to the eastern European nation in March, including for Mark VI patrol boats, counter-artillery radars, and more.
Last week, the Biden administration said that it returned more than $2 billion in funds to the Pentagon that had been diverted by former President Donald Trump for border wall construction. A memo released by the Pentagon reveals that the majority of the funds, or around $1.26 billion, will be spent overseas in places including Hungary, Japan, Italy, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Germany, Romania, Spain, and several other countries.