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$60M in U.S. military aid arrives in Ukraine

$60M in U.S. military aid arrives in Ukraine
Military equipment valued at $60 million, including Javelin anti-tank missiles, was sent by the United States to Ukraine, the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv said on Wednesday. Photo courtesy of U.S. Embassy in Ukraine

June 17 (UPI) -- Over $60 million in military equipment were handed over to Ukraine, the U.S. Embassy in Kiev announced on Wednesday.

The supplies include over 100 Javelin anti-tank missiles, ammunition and communications equipment.

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Also on Wednesday, the U.S. State Department approved the sale of up to 16 armed patrol boats to the Ukrainian military at an estimated cost of $600 million.

In statements on Twitter on Wednesday, the embassy reaffirmed the relationship between the two countries, saying that "U.S. security assistance and cooperation efforts with Ukraine during #COVID19 continue" and "the United States stands strongly with Ukraine in support of its sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russian aggression."

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The deliveries came a week after the U.S. Defense Department announced that $250 million in Fiscal Year 2020 funds have been earmarked for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative. The funds are to be used for "additional training, equipment, and advisory efforts to strengthen Ukraine's capacity to more effectively defend itself against Russian aggression."

The new funding was conditional on Ukraine's progress on defense reforms, and is intended to provide equipment to support ongoing training programs and operational needs, the Pentagon said.

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In the past year, the Pentagon said, Ukraine has taken "considerable steps" to strengthen civilian control of the military, reform military command and control structures and transition to a Western-style human resources management system.

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Ukraine also has worked with key NATO allies, from whom it has received increased security assistance support, Defense Department officials said.

The patrol boat sale, approved by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency and the U.S. State Department, includes gun systems, infrared radar, acoustic devices, cannons and assorted spare parts and training.

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