Pentagon says it will help the war-torn nation bolster defence capabilities
Washington : The US Defence department said it would give $200 million to Ukraine to help the war-torn nation bolster its military’s defensive capabilities. The amount is part of a series of Pentagon payments now totalling over $1 billion to Ukraine since 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea.
Ukraine is fighting a separatist insurgency in its Russian-speaking eastern regions of Donetsk and Lugansk. The military aid, which comes from the Pentagon’s security cooperation funds, will be non-lethal in nature. “The added funds will provide equipment to support ongoing training programs and operational needs, including capabilities to enhance Ukraine’s command and control, situational awareness systems, secure communications, military mobility, night vision, and military medical treatment,” the Pentagon statement said.
The announcement came days after US President Donald Trump’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin sparked outrage at home, where even some Republicans said the US leader had been far too conciliatory to his counterpart.
Over 10,000 people have been killed since the Moscow-backed insurgency broke out in April 2014 following Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Ukraine and its Western allies accuse Russia of funneling troops and arms to the pro-Moscow rebels across the border. Moscow denies the allegations. The conflict has become a focal point of stresses in the US-Russia relations, with the US hitting Russia with economic sanctions.
Meanwhile, Trump hit out at the mainstream news media for the way they acted towards Putin during their bilateral summit at Helsinki earlier this week.
In a tweet, Trump said he was “severely criticised for being too nice to Putin” before he termed the “fake news media” as “hypocrites.” He wrote on the micro-blogging site, “I got severely criticised by the Fake News Media for being too nice to President Putin. In the Old Days they would call it Diplomacy. If I was loud & vicious, I would have been criticised for being too tough. Remember when they said I was too tough with Chairman Kim? Hypocrites!”