In the latest step by Washington to increase the pressure on Russia’s border with Ukraine, the Obama administration has informed Congress that the US will train and arm the Ukrainian National Guard next year, the Pentagon said.
“The Defense Department and State Department have notified Congress of our intent to use $19 million in global security contingency fund authority to train and equip four companies and one tactical headquarters of the Ukrainian National Guard as part of their efforts to build their capacity for internal defense,” Reuters quoted Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby as saying Friday.
The joint military training would take place at a facility inside Ukraine that is capable of hosting multilateral exercises, Kirby said. The advisors would be provided by US Army Europe and by the California National Guard, he added.
Also Friday, the United States pledged about $8 million in new aid to bolster the Ukrainian Border Guard Service.
The plan requires Congressional approval, but judging by the level of anti-Russian rhetoric coming from US legislators, this is expected to be forthcoming. …
It may come as a surprise to many American taxpayers that the US National Guard has nearly two dozen state partnerships with foreign countries, most of which were once part of the Soviet Union.