US Congress reduces by $150 million military assistance to Ukraine in 2018

The House of Representatives of the US Congress on Thursday approved the allocation of $200 million for military assistance to Ukraine, including the supply of "defensive weapons", other than portable anti-aircraft missile systems (MANPADS). This provision is included in the bill on the federal budget, adopted by the congressmen by a majority.

"The implementation of the "Initiative to provide assistance to Ukraine in the security sector" there were allocated $200 million, they will be available until September 30, 2018," the text says.

Thus, the House of Representatives decided to reduce the amount indicated in the previously adopted law on the policy of the US Department of Defense, which was already signed by President Donald Trump. The document, drafted by the committees on the affairs of the armed forces of both chambers of Congress, states that $350 million should be available to the Pentagon for assistance to Ukraine.

However, as part of the work on expenditure items of the federal budget in general, the authors of the bill adopted on Thursday decided to cut this figure to $200 million. At the same time, 150 million were allocated for this purpose in 2017. The article on providing military assistance to Ukraine is not mandatory. The final decision is made by the Minister of Defense.

The US military will not only be able to transfer weapons to the Ukrainian army, but also conduct its training, provide logistical support, share intelligence data, etc. But legislators specify that these funds cannot be spent on purchases or deliveries to Ukraine of MANPADS. This rule was also laid in the previous law on the Pentagon budget. In addition, the congressmen extended the ban on any US assistance to the nationalist formation of Azov.

The Senate of the US Congress, following the House of Representatives on Friday night at the meeting, approved the allocation of $200 million for military assistance to Ukraine, including the supply of "defensive weapons", other than portable anti-aircraft missile systems.

The document also includes a provision on rendering assistance to Georgia. According to the text, "no less than $105.3 million should be available to assist Georgia." Ukraine is targeted at at least $420.7 million. It is clarified that the money allocated to support other states cannot be transferred to "the governments of independent states of the former Soviet Union," which by their actions violate the territorial integrity of the countries that were part of the USSR.

Taking into account the military assistance, the total amount of funds for Ukraine can be about $620 million. Now this document will be handed to the president for signature.

DONi News Agency