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Iran Press TV

Pentagon announces $250 million in military aid to Ukraine

Iran Press TV

Wed Jun 19, 2019 02:01AM

The United States has announced a 250-million dollar military aid package to Ukraine amid tensions between Kiev and Moscow.

The Pentagon said in a statement on Tuesday that the package, including military equipment, training and support, aimed to strengthen the Ukrainian military's naval and land capabilities.

"The United States remains committed to helping strengthen democratic civilian control of the military, promote command and control reforms, enhance transparency and accountability in acquisition and budgeting, and advance defense industry reforms," a Pentagon spokesman said.

"These reforms will bolster Ukraine's ability to defend its territorial integrity in support of a secure, prosperous, democratic, and free Ukraine."

The aid package was part of a series of payments that have now reached one and a half billion dollars over the past five years.

Moscow-Kiev relations have been strained since 2014, when a wave of protests in Ukraine overthrew a democratically-elected pro-Russia government and replaced it with a pro-West administration, prompting armed confrontations in the Russian-speaking regions of Ukraine's east, where the majority have refused to endorse the new administration.

The war has so far claimed some 13,000 lives since 2014.

Kiev and its Western allies accuse Moscow of having a hand in the crisis. Moscow, however, denies the allegations.

Ties between the two sides plunged to a record low later in 2014 after people in the Black Sea Crimea Peninsula voted in a referendum to separate from Ukraine and reunite with the Russian Federation. Kiev and its allies, however, view the reunification as annexation of the territory by Russia.

The US and the European Union have since imposed several rounds of harsh sanctions on Russia over the conflict in the east and the Crimea issue.

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