Reuters: US Senate proposes to allocate $300 million of military aid to Ukraine annually

Members of the Committee on Foreign Affairs from the Republican and Democratic Parties submitted a draft law in this regard.

Members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs from the Republican and Democratic Parties submitted a bill according to which Ukraine should be allocated annual military aid of $300m, Reuters reported on Friday.

According to him, the bill was presented by the chairman of the committee, James Rish (a Republican from the state of Idaho) and senior Democrat Robert Menendez (from the state of New Jersey), who were joined by Democrat senators Chris Murphy (Connecticut) and Jean Shaheen (New Hampshire), as well as Republicans Rob Portman (Ohio) and John Barrasso (Wyoming).

The draft law envisages allocation of up to $4 million for training of Ukrainian servicemen. The U.S. Department of Defense and the State Department, according to Reuters, will have to report on the costs and needs of the Ukrainian armed forces, as well as to prepare a plan for assistance in the field of security of this state. The bill also instructs the US authorities to appoint a US special representative for Ukraine.

Earlier, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said at a hearing in the US Senate’s Foreign Affairs Committee on the State Department’s budget request for 2021 that the US Foreign Ministry expected to appoint a new person to the post of US special representative for Ukraine, who until his resignation in September 2019 was Kurt Volker.

Pompeo also said that the executive branch of the government supports the proposal of the lawmakers to increase the amount of assistance to Ukraine aimed at supplying arms. The US Senate has previously approved its version of the draft defense budget for the next fiscal year (starting from 1 October). According to this document, Ukraine may receive $250mln from the US military line.

The House of Representatives also approved its version of the draft defense budget. Now both versions have to be approved by a commission of representatives of both chambers. After that, congressmen and senators will again have to vote for the agreed document. The final draft budget will be sent to the head of state for his signature.

On the aid scandal for Ukraine

A major scandal broke out in Washington in September 2019 over allegations that US President Donald Trump put pressure on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a phone conversation to encourage Kiev to help the head of the Washington administration to reelect for a second term this year.

It has been suggested that the U.S. leader wanted his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate the actions of the son of former US Vice President Joseph Biden in exchange for financial and military assistance to Kiev. The House of Representatives of the U.S. Congress, controlled by the Democratic Party, announced on the basis of such suspicions about the launch of the impeachment procedure against the Republican Trump, who was eventually acquitted by the Senate, in which the majority of his fellow party members.