U.S. gifts $8 million to Ukraine for border protection

The U.S. will be providing Ukraine with an additional $8 million to bolster its border guard capabilities, the White House announced Friday.
By JC Finley Follow @JC_Finley Contact the Author   |   Aug. 1, 2014 at 1:57 PM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- Vice President Joe Biden announced Friday that the U.S. will provide approximately $8 million to help bolster Ukraine's State Border Guard Service.

Biden shared the news with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko during a phone call on Friday.

"This additional assistance," the White House said, "includes engineering equipment for improving infrastructure along Ukraine's borders, transport and patrol vehicles, surveillance equipment to extend the visual range of border security patrols, and small boats to conduct maritime patrol and interdiction operations."

The news comes amid reports by Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council that Russia violated Ukrainian airspace on Thursday. According to NSDC spokesman Andriy Lysenko, Russian military aircraft flew 10-15 kilometers into Ukrainian territory on Thursday. "In particular, the flights of four Ka-52 attack helicopters from the side of the Russian Federation were recorded yesterday," he told reporters in Kiev on Friday.

Lysenko noted that Ukrainian border guards are used to visually record aircraft entering Ukrainian airspace at altitudes below the level detected by air defense systems.

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