The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has approved $150 million in assistance to Ukraine to strengthen its defense capabilities, including training and advisory efforts, according to the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine.
“New $150 million package for Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, including training, equipment and advisory efforts to help Ukraine’s forces preserve the country’s territorial integrity, secure its borders, and improve NATO interoperability,” the embassy said on Twitter.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky thanked the U.S. side for the decision.
“Grateful to the White House for this important contribution to saving lives of our soldiers and strengthening capabilities of the Ukrainian army,” the president said on Twitter.
U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (Democratic Party), Chris Murphy (Democratic Party) and Rob Portman (Republican Party) have pledged bipartisan support to Ukraine.
At a briefing following a meeting with President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv on Wednesday, Shaheen said the senators paid this visit to express their bipartisan support to the people of Ukraine, independence and the progress that Ukraine has made in reforms, and they had a very effective meeting with the President of Ukraine.
According to her, their meeting with the president started with a briefing from people from the area of combat operation about the current situation there.
Shaheen said the senators have a very clear picture of the challenges that Ukraine’s troops and everyone on the front face. This will help them so that when the senators return to the United States, they talk about the continuing need to support Ukraine’s efforts.
Senator Rob Portman said they discussed with the president the importance of strengthening relations between Ukraine and the United States, providing even more effective military assistance so that Ukraine can defend itself.
Portman said they also talked about other assistance that the United States can provide, namely, in the area of economy, reform and countering Russian disinformation.
Senator Chris Murphy (Democratic Party, Conneticut) said that many have been done in Ukraine in a short period of time, but many serious challenges are still facing Ukraine. He said that the three senators will persuade colleagues in the Senate of the need to continue providing security assistance to Ukraine.
Murphy also said that ongoing reforms are also important to the U.S.-Ukrainian partnership. The senators spoke with President Zelensky about some specific reforms, namely reforming the SBU, guaranteeing NABU independence and continuing corporate governance reform.
Senator Shaheen said that Ukrainian Defense Minister Andriy Taran briefed the senators about Ukraine’s needs for weapons, and assured that she would inform Congress and the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden about them.
She also said that today the senators met with the Ukrainian defense minister, he was very specific about Ukraine’s weapons needs. The senators will convey this message to Congress and the administration in Washington, and they promised to continue supporting Ukraine’s security.
Deputy Minister of Economy, Trade Representative of Ukraine Taras Kachka and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai agreed to hold a Trade and Investment Council.
“We talked about the need to strengthen dialogue on climate change, non-tariff rules for industrial and food products both in the context of strengthening the World Trade Organization (WTO) and on the bilateral track. We agreed to hold a Council on Trade and Investment and talk,” Kachka wrote on Facebook on Wednesday following a discussion with Tai on key trade issues held on May 11.
During the conversation, Tai expressed support for the idea of free production of vaccines (waiver), he said.
“We expressed our support. Ukraine is ready to act as a compressor of the waiver initiative and to convince the EU that it is necessary,” Kachka said.
With regard to duties on metallurgical products, the United States, according to Kachka, is ready to seek an individual approach to metal trading in order to overcome the problem of overcapacity.
“We explained that the duties and the EU measures applied later ended in the opposite direction in terms of overcapacity [excess capacity]. In general, Ukraine is more likely a partner of the West in transforming metallurgy,” Ukrainian trade representative added.
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.
Nova Poshta Global, part of the Nova Poshta group of companies, has created an additional hub for international shipments in Lviv: it launched charter flights to Lviv airport and opened the second central sorting station.
According to Nova Poshta, the first charter flight from the United States flew to Lviv in early December. On board were more than 15,000 items of the NP Shopping service with a total weight of over 30 tonnes. Nova Posta Global plans to operate flights from the United States regularly, twice a week: one flight to Lviv and one to Kyiv.
In addition, the company plans to carry out charter flights from China both to Lviv and Kyiv. In particular, on December 6, a flight with departures from the Chinese online store AliExpress, on board of which there were 60,000 parcels with a total weight of 20 tonnes, already arrived at Boryspil International Airport.
“Soon we expect the arrival of two more flights, which will deliver about 20 more tonnes of cargo,” the company said.
Previously, the company’s flights with international departures arrived only at Boryspil airport, and went through customs clearance and sorting at the central station in Kyiv.
Since the beginning of this year, Nova Poshta Global has more than doubled its volumes, delivering 5.7 million shipments: an increase that has put additional strain on the sorting station.