The U.S. Department of Defense announced a new $125 million package for Ukraine’s Security Assistance Initiative that includes training, equipment and advisory efforts to help Ukraine’s forces preserve the country’s territorial integrity, secure its borders, and improve interoperability with NATO.
“The USAI package includes two additional armed Mark VI patrol boats to enhance Ukraine’s capacity to patrol and defend its territorial waters. To date, the U.S. has committed a total of eight Mark VI patrol boats,” the Defense Department said in a press release on Monday.
The Pentagon said that this action reaffirms the U.S. commitment to providing defensive lethal weapons to enable Ukraine to more effectively defend itself against Russian aggression.
“The package also includes capabilities to enhance the lethality, command and control, and situational awareness of Ukraine’s forces through the provision of additional counter-artillery radars and tactical equipment; continued support for a satellite imagery and analysis capability; and equipment to support military medical treatment and combat evacuation procedures,” the department said.
The Pentagon also said that the remaining $150 million in fiscal year 2021 USAI funds appropriated by Congress will be provided when the Defence Department, in coordination with the Department of State certifies that Ukraine has made sufficient progress on key defense reforms this year, as required by the National Defense Authorization Act.
“The Department encourages Ukraine to continue to enact reforms that strengthen civilian control of the military, promote increased transparency and accountability in defense industry and procurement, and modernize its defense sector in other key areas in line with NATO principles and standards,” the Defense Department said.
Since 2014, the United States has committed more than $2 billion in security assistance to Ukraine.
The European Commission, on behalf of the European Union, has disbursed EUR 600 million to Ukraine under its coronavirus (COVID-19) related macro-financial assistance (MFA) programme.
The European Commission’s press service said this on Wednesday.
Commenting on the payout, European Commission Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said: “Ukraine remains high on the European agenda. It is our neighbourhood country and it belongs to Europe. We are committed to offering political, financial and technical support, especially during this time of crisis as a response to COVID-19 pandemic and overcome the social and economic consequences,” the press service said, citing Dombrovskis.
He also said that this EUR 600 million first tranche of emergency macro-financial assistance “confirms the EU’s solidarity with Ukraine and our continued close cooperation.” “I offer my best wishes to Ukraine’s government for 2021 in carrying through its reform agenda, to improve living standard, continue fighting against corruption and bring Ukraine closer to the EU,” the EC Vice President said.
The European Commission said that this disbursement will contribute to macro-financial stability in Ukraine, “while allowing it to allocate resources towards mitigating the severe negative socio-economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.”
As reported, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Ukrainian government and the EC in the summer, followed by its ratification in the middle of September, as well as after Ukraine’s resumption of participation in continuing cooperation under the IMF program in recent weeks.
Israel has sent drinking water, tents and sleeping beds to Ukraine for the operations to clean up the aftermath of heavy floods in Ivano-Frankivsk region, Foreign Minister of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba said.
“The State or Israel has sent aid to Ivano-Frankivsk region to help alleviate the impact of massive floods. Many thanks to Israeli friends for supporting Ukraine’s response to the natural disaster. We highly value your solidarity!” the minister said on his Twitter page on Wednesday.
An Armed Forces of Ukraine (UAF) IL-76 MD plane has delivered humanitarian aid from the People’s Republic of China to Kyiv for combating COVID-19. The shipment is the largest provided so far to Ukraine from China.
“The largest humanitarian aid ever delivered from China by the UAF plane contained more than 125 cubic meters of cargo,” Deputy Foreign Minister Yevhen Enin said at a briefing at Boryspil Airport on Wednesday.
The humanitarian aid includes protective masks, suits, disinfectants, as well as 10 mechanical ventilation devices donated by the founder of the Alibaba Group, Jack Ma, to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Enin said that the cargo was collected by 39 institutions: heads of provinces, enterprises and some public activists.
“The Chinese people have shown an extremely sincere gesture of solidarity with the Ukrainian people in countering the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.
Deputy Minister of Health of Ukraine Ihor Ivaschenko said that all the cargo received is humanitarian, and its recipient is state-owned enterprise Ukrvaccine and the Ministry of Health of Ukraine. The cargo will be distributed between the healthcare institutions of Ukraine, higher educational institutions, as well as regional administrations.
The list of cargo recipients also includes separate institutions that are defined as targeted delivery of goods, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, higher educational institutions such as Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, National Aviation Institute, and some regional administrations: Kharkiv, Zaporizhia, Kherson, Sumy, Poltava and some city councils. There are also goods that will be sent to the Main Military Hospital and the Oleksandrivska Hospital.
Ivaschenko also said that over the next month the goods will be distributed in accordance with applications.
At the same time, Enin added that regarding the received artificial lung ventilators, a distribution decision will be made in the near future, and they will be sent to places that need this technical support most.
Representatives of the Ukrainian government and Germany have signed an intergovernmental agreement on the provision of EU 84.8 million for technical and financial assistance projects to Ukraine, Ukrainian Ambassador in Germany Andriy Melnyk has said. “We have signed the Ukrainian-German intergovernmental protocol on the provision of EUR 84.8 million to Ukraine for technical and financial assistance projects in Berlin,” he wrote in his twitter microblog.