US requests additional $19m for Ukrainian military training

4 August 2014 (Last Updated August 4th, 2014 18:30)

US President Barack Obama has asked Congress to allocate $19m to help train and equip the Ukrainian National Guard forces from next year.

US President Barack Obama has asked Congress to allocate $19m to help train and equip the Ukrainian National Guard forces from next year.

The funding is expected to help the Ukrainian military build capacity for its internal defence.

Pentagon press secretary navy rear admiral John Kirby said the US military would train and equip four companies and one tactical headquarters of the Ukrainian National Guard.

"We continue to review requests for military assistance from the Government of Ukraine through an interagency process."

Training will be provided by the US Army Europe and California National Guard personnel at a training centre at the international peacekeeping and security centre in Yavoriv, Ukraine, NTV Channel reported.

The Obama administration has also announced a further $8m to help augment the Ukrainian State Border Guard Service.

As well as improving infrastructure along Ukraine's borders, the additional funding includes engineering equipment transport and patrol vehicles, surveillance equipment to extend the visual range of border security patrols, as well as small boats to conduct maritime patrol and interdiction operations.

Kirby said the US will provide only non-lethal assistance to Ukraine and will not aid the country in issues of targeting.

"We continue to review requests for military assistance from the Government of Ukraine through an interagency process," Kirby said.

"We also need to be mindful that we don't take actions that make it worse or make it ... even less secure for the Ukrainian people."

Kirby also warned that Russian soldiers in combined arms battalions have moved closer to the border with Ukraine and continue to build their military capabilities in the region.

Russia reportedly has at least 10,000 troops near the border.

Since Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine earlier this year, the US Department of Defense has continuously rotated military personnel, aircraft and ships in and out of Central and Eastern Europe.

US forces are currently conducting exercises in the region to reassure allies of the country's commitment in the wake of Russian expansion.

Defence Technology