The NewsMax on August 1, 2014, reported that the Obama administration has notified Congress of its plans to train and arm the Ukrainian national guard next year, the Pentagon said, as Washington continues to intensify its response to Moscow’s support for rebels in eastern Ukraine. Excerpts below:
“The Defense Department and State Department have notified Congress of our intent to use $19 million in global security contingency fund authority to train and equip four companies and one tactical headquarters of the Ukrainian national guard as part of their efforts to build their capacity for internal defense,” Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby told reporters.
The training, which requires congressional approval, would occur at a location within Ukraine that hosts multilateral exercises, Kirby said. The trainers would be provided by U.S. Army Europe and by the California National Guard, he added.
The announcement comes as the United States and other Western nations seek to tighten pressure on Moscow after the July 17 downing of a Malaysian airliner over rebel-held territory in Ukraine by what Western nations say was a Russia-supplied missile.
Also on August 1, the United States pledged about $8 million in new aid to bolster the Ukrainian border guard service.