Pentagon Announced $125 Million Defense Aid For Ukraine

The Pentagon announced Monday a $125 million military aid package for Ukraine, the first of its kind under the Biden administration.

The package is funded through the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, a Pentagon fund whose money was authorized by the FY21 NDAA. The biggest items included are two Mark VI patrol boats produced by SAFE Boats International, bringing Ukraine’s fleet up to eight of the vessels.

The 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,” per a Pentagon statement.

The U.S. State Department has cleared a potential sale to Ukraine of 16 Mark VI patrol boats and other gear worth $600 million.By: Joe Gould

There is still $150 million in fiscal 2021 Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative funding appropriated by Congress, but that is gated off until the Defense and State departments jointly certify there has been “sufficient progress” made by Kyiv on military reform efforts.

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“The [Defense] 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 department said in a statement.

The question of what arms and military aid the U.S. can give to Ukraine has been a touchy subject since the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014. The Obama administration hesitated to send lethal weapons, most notably Javelin anti-tank weapons, despite a push from members of Congress. The Trump administration later OK’d the sale of Javelins as well as further aid.

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