By Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
American Forces Press Service
07 May 2014
Ukraine’s border guard has received a large percentage of the U.S.-funded equipment it requested, a Defense Department spokesman said May 6.
Army Colonel Steven Warren told Pentagon reporters that DOD recently provided funding to Ukraine for locally purchased equipment.
“To date,” he said, “using Cooperative Threat Reduction funds, Embassy Kiev has purchased and delivered fuel pumps, concertina wire, vehicle batteries, spare parts, binoculars, communications gear [for] the Ukrainian border guards for use in monitoring and securing their borders.”
Warren explained that the Ukrainian assistance falls into two categories: one for the border guard and another for regular army support. Approved support to Ukraine’s regular army continues through necessary channels, he said.
Asked about whether Pentagon officials see a correlation between Russian air activities in the Pacific and activities in Ukraine, Warren said officials see no specific linkage, noting that the Russian military has long operated in the Pacific.
Warren was also asked about an increase in Russian naval presence in the Black Sea, and he emphasized the need for de-escalation.
“The Black Sea is international waters,” he said. “The Russians, of course, as all nations, can train and travel through international waters. We’ve long called on the Russians to take [steps] to de-escalate the tensions in that region. Certainly, increased naval presence in the Black Sea does not contribute to de-escalation.”
Pentagon officials believe the Russians have an opportunity to take actions that will help to bring a swift and peaceful resolution to the situation in Ukraine, Warren added.