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7 Jun, 2014 21:50

​US announces ‘additional’ $48 mln assistance for Ukraine

​US announces ‘additional’ $48 mln assistance for Ukraine

The US has pledged an additional $48 million fund for Ukraine to strengthen its state border guards service and “enhance national unity particularly in the East and South.” Earlier, President Obama offered Kiev $5 million in “non-lethal” military aid.

The assistance, which is still pending consultation with US Congress, should help the Ukrainian government “conduct key reforms, build law enforcement capacity, and strengthen national unity,” the White House said in a statement on its website.

The recently announced US $48 million aid is tailored to “assist” Ukraine “with constitutional reforms, decentralization, and confidence-building measures that enhance national unity, particularly in the East and South.”

It should also help the Ukrainian government “strengthen” the country’s state border guard service.

“The United States is committed to supporting Ukraine's democratic reforms, economic development, and sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the announcement read.

By “economic development” the White House means “efforts to carry out the reforms needed to make its IMF and World Bank programs” as well as “diversify” its trade.

The assistance package should also help Ukraine “enhance its energy security,” according to the statement.

The announcement came from Vice President Joe Biden, who has pledged $48 million to Ukraine, three days after President Barack Obama’s discussions with his now colleague President Petro Poroshenko in Warsaw on June 4. On that day Obama already offered Kiev potential training of its law enforcement and military personnel as well as additional military help.

The total amount of financial aid to Ukraine by the US will reach over $184 million this year, including all previous packages, according to the White House.

Back in April the US approved a $1 billion loan guarantee for Ukraine to “access affordable financing from international capital markets.” Since March, the White House approved $23 million in direct "security assistance" to Kiev.

In the meantime, the Obama administration also vowed to invest $1 billion in stepping up US military presence “to defend the territorial integrity” of Eastern Europe.