U.S. presidential administration may allocate $350m for aid to Ukraine in 2018 FY

U.S. presidential administration may allocate $350m for aid to Ukraine in 2018 FYThe U.S. presidential administration in its draft budget for the 2018 fiscal year foresees providing Ukraine with $350 million in assistance to cover various programs.

The sum would fund programs in the defense and security sectors, as well as the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) programs.

The U.S. State Department and USAID assistance programs for 2018 account for almost $204 million. They are budgeted for health care, economic development, and structural reform programs in Ukraine.

Some $150 million are earmarked for military and security programs under the U.S. Department of Defense program. The funds would be spent on military training, equipment, consulting Ukrainian military commanders, as well as strengthening the potential of Ukraine to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

In addition, military supplies, including uniforms and other equipment, logistics gear and reconnaissance support for Ukraine's military would be provided. The draft budget also leaves open the possibility of supplying lethal weapons to Ukraine, an item missing from the past U.S. administration budget proposals.

The draft consolidated budget for 2018 proposes to increase Foreign Military Financing (FMF) for countries of Europe, Asia and Africa to $450 million. Ukraine would be eligible to receive some of that money.

In general, the U.S. presidential administration's budget expenditures for European and Asian countries would be cut by 60% compared to the 2017 fiscal year budget. Ukraine this year accounts for more than 45% of all countries in the region.

The U.S. fiscal years starts October 1, 2017, and runs through September 30, 2018.

Further, the budget request must be studied and discussed in the U.S. Congress, where changes and supplements could be made. Thus, the real amount of aid to Ukraine will be known after the completion of the entire process of adopting the document, which is now at the initial stage.

Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States Valeriy Chaly, commenting on the budget request, said it is important that the text of the document contains statements on providing lethal weapons to Ukraine.

"It should be emphasized the budget proposal of the presidential administration includes provisions on granting our country with lethal weapons, which compares favorably with the administration requests of the previous years," the ambassador said.
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