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U.S. to send additional $125M in military aid to Ukraine

U.S. to send additional $125M in military aid to Ukraine
A $125 military aid package to Ukraine, announced by the Pentagon on Monday, includes two Mark VI patrol boats, pictured. Photo by MCA1 John Wagner/U.S. Navy

March 1 (UPI) -- A $125 million defense package to Ukraine includes armored patrol boats, radar units and military medical equipment, the Defense Department said on Monday.

The funding is part of the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, planned since 2020 and "conditional on Ukraine's progress on defense reforms, will provide equipment to support ongoing training programs and operational needs," a statement in June 2020 from the U.S. Embassy in Kiev said.

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Another $150 million in supplies will be released when the U.S. State Department "certifies that Ukraine has made sufficient progress on key defense reforms this year, as required by the National Defense Authorization Act," Monday's statement by the Pentagon said.

The equipment to be provided immediately includes two armed Mark VI patrol boats, counter-artillery radar and tactical equipment, continued support for satellite imagery and analysis capability, and equipment to support military medical treatment and combat evacuation procedures.

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The United States has committed over $2 billion in aid to Ukraine since 2014, when Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula, according to the Pentagon.

Last week U.S. President Joe Biden said the United States will continue to support Ukraine against Russian aggression.

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"The United States does not, and will never, recognize Russia's purported annexation of the peninsula, and we will stand with Ukraine against Russia's aggressive acts," Biden told the Munich Security Conference on Feb. 26.

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"We will continue to work to hold Russia accountable for its abuses and aggression in Ukraine," Biden said.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg reiterated similar support for Ukraine on Feb. 10, repeating the defense bloc's commitment to Ukraine as he noted a buildup of Russian troops in the region.

Although Ukraine is an "Enhanced Opportunities Partner" and not a full NATO member, Stoltenberg cited Ukrainian involvement in NATO missions during a Feb. 9 press conference after meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal.

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