Trump strengthens Ukrainian army with $ 400 million


The Trump administration is releasing nearly $ 400 million in military aid to Ukraine, unplugging the aid tap after weeks of speculation the United States could withhold the money as part of a massive reassessment of US policy in the face of Russian aggression in Ukraine.

Help comes in two buckets. This is first US $ 141 million pledged by the State Department, then US $ 250 million from the Pentagon, all related to a variety of weapons systems and non-lethal capabilities such as communications. , training facilities and surveillance equipment to help Ukraine protect its coastline from the Russian Black Sea Fleet.

After it was reported last month that the White House ordered a reassessment of U.S. funding for the Ukrainian military, Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill urged the administration to maintain the support that has poured in since the 2014 illegal Russian invasion.

Senator Rob Portman, co-chair of the Ukrainian Senate caucus, said today that Trump told him the DoD money was ready to go. Portman said he “spoke with the president last night to ask him to release security funds for Ukraine, and I want to thank him for doing so.”

Senator Lindsay Graham was also convinced that the DoD money would be released, saying today that Ukraine “will get the money”.

The Pentagon has referred requests for the US $ 250 million to the White House.

Announcing the $ 250 million package in June, the DoD said the money would go to items such as sniper rifles for Ukraine’s special operations forces, grenade launchers, radar systems. counter artillery, training centers, electronic warfare equipment and items such as sonobuoys. detect the traffic of Russian ships and submarines to strengthen the presence of the Ukrainian Navy in the Black Sea.

The two sets – a set of weapons used on the F-16 for $ 209 million and a slice of TOW missiles for $ 776 million – were announced this week. Handout.

Earlier this year, the US Navy sent teams to modernize several Ukrainian naval bases to give US and NATO warships the option of docking within miles of Russia-controlled Crimea.

Meanwhile, the State Department has authorized Morocco to purchase nearly 8,500 ammunition of various types, for a price of just under $ 1 billion, Defense News reported.

The two packages – a bundle of weapons used on the F-16 for $ 209 million and a slice of TOW missiles for $ 776 million – were announced Thursday on the Defense Security Cooperation Agency website.

The weapons “will enhance the security of a major non-NATO ally who continues to be an important force for political stability and economic progress in North Africa,” the DSCA wrote in its announcement. “A strong national defense and a dedicated military force will help Morocco to maintain itself in its efforts to maintain stability. “

The TOW application includes 2,401 TOW 2A radio frequency missiles, 28 test missiles and 400 M220A2 TOW launchers; some of these launchers may be M41 Enhanced Target Acquisition System (ITAS). Support equipment, technical support and training are also included.

Including Thursday’s packages, Morocco has requested about $ 7.26 billion in US-made weapons in this fiscal year, by far the most of any nation.

As with all DSCA notifications to Congress, the agreement is not final. Members may object to the sale, and once the Hill is cleared, quantities and costs may change during negotiations.

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