Pentagon calls on Ukraine to continue reforms in defense sector

Pentagon calls on Ukraine to continue reforms in defense sector

Ukrinform
The U.S. Department of Defense has called on Ukraine not to stop defense sector reforms following the announcement on March 1 of a new $125 million package for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI), according to a statement posted on the Department's website.

"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 statement reads.

At the same time, the Department of Defense said that the USAI package includes two additional armed Mark IV 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 IV patrol boats.

In addition, 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.

According to the statement, the remaining $150 million in fiscal year 2021 USAI funds appropriated by Congress will be provided when the Defense 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 United States has committed more than $2 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since 2014 and remains committed to assisting Ukraine with the implementation of these reforms to advance its Euro-Atlantic aspirations in support of a secure, prosperous, democratic, and free Ukraine," the statement reads.

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