US announces US$250m in military aid to Ukraine

19 Jun 2019 / 00:03 H.

WASHINGTON: The United States announced Tuesday a US$250 million military aid package for war-torn Ukraine to strengthen the former Soviet republic’s naval and land capabilities.

The amount is part of a series of Pentagon payments now totalling US$1.5 billion to the country since 2014, when Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula and a conflict erupted in eastern Ukraine.

“The United States remains committed to helping Ukraine ... to strengthen democratic civilian control of the military, promote command and control reforms, enhance transparency and accountability in acquisition and budgeting, and advance defence industry reforms,“ a Pentagon spokesman said.

“These reforms will bolster Ukraine’s ability to defend its territorial integrity in support of a secure, prosperous, democratic, and free Ukraine.”

Almost 13,000 people have been killed since the Moscow-backed insurgency broke out in April 2014 following Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

Ukraine and its Western allies accuse Russia of funnelling troops and arms to the pro-Moscow rebels across the border. Moscow denies the allegations. — AFP

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