Biden's predecessors, in particular Donald Trump and Barack Obama, took a similar position on this issue, therefore, every year since the start of the war in Donbas, the United States has transferred funds for the military needs of Kyiv, provided weapons and, in addition, provided humanitarian assistance.
Let us see in detail how and how the United States is helping Ukraine.
Security Financial Assistance
Since 2014, the United States has provided more than $ 2.5 billion in security assistance to Ukraine. The funds are provided under several programs, for example, the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI), Foreign Military Financing (FMF), and others.
Almost every year the size of American military aid is increasing, as evidenced by the calculations of "Word and Deed". So, in 2014, allocations amounted to $ 86.9 million. A year later, in 2015, this figure increased by 100.2% - to $ 174 million.
In 2016, the total amount of payments under several programs amounted to $ 318.1 million, in 2017 - $ 262.1 million, in 2018 - $ 268.9 million, in 2019 - $ 397.9 million.
In 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the world economy was going through hard times, so military aid decreased slightly - to $ 282.9 million. However, last year Ukraine received a new batch of Javelin anti-tank missiles, walkie-talkies, and ammunition.
This year, the United States has already announced the provision of two tranches to Ukraine in the amount of 125 and 150 million dollars. What the money will be spent on, we analyze further.
Military aid in 2021
In March of this year, the US Department of Defense announced its decision to provide Ukraine with the first $ 125 million military aid package under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI).
The funds will be used to purchase two Mark IV patrol boats. The package also includes:
- additional counter-artillery radars and tactical equipment;
- continuous support with satellite imagery;
- equipment for providing medical assistance to servicemen and conducting combat evacuation.
- The Pentagon made the decision on the second tranche for Ukraine under the USAI in June. The amount of aid will be $ 150 million.
"Important news from our American partners. The Pentagon has approved the second part of security assistance for Ukraine in 2021 for $ 150 million," President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on June 11.
Важливі новини від наших ???????? партнерів. @DeptofDefense затвердив другу частину безпекової допомоги ???????? у 2021 році на $150 млн. Вдячний @WhiteHouse за надзвичайно важливий внесок у зміцнення обороноспроможності армії ???????? та збереження життів наших вояків.— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) June 11, 2021
As Minister of Defense of Ukraine Andriy Taran said, thanks to these funds, the arsenal of the Ukrainian army will be replenished:
- anti-artillery radars;
- means to combat unmanned aerial vehicles;
- equipment for secure communication and evacuation of the wounded from the battlefield.
Additional assistance under consideration
A month ago, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken assured that the United States is ready to consider providing Ukraine with additional assistance, in addition to the one that has already been provided.
Answering a question from a Radio Liberty journalist about whether the possibility of providing Kyiv with air defense systems, anti-sniper technologies, as well as the deployment of Patriot anti-aircraft missile systems in Ukraine is being discussed, Blinken noted:
“Of course, we will consider any request. Here the key partner of Ukraine is the Pentagon. Now we are thinking about what additional assistance - apart from the very significant assistance that we have already provided, in particular equipment - would be useful for Ukraine right now. This issue is under active consideration."
Military aid can increase
The US defense budget annually, starting in 2014, pledges funds to provide military assistance to Ukraine. This year, this amount was initially $ 250 million, then it was increased by $ 25 million.
Next year, the Department of State asks for $ 255 million for Ukraine, which is spelled out in the budget proposal for the 2022 fiscal year. The document still has to go through both houses of the US Congress.
In general, in the near future, the annual American assistance to Ukraine in the field of security may increase to $ 300 million. The corresponding changes are laid down in the bill, which was supported by the US Senate Committee two months ago.
"The bill increases the annual US military aid to Ukraine by $ 300 million, including lethal weapons," explained Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States Oksana Markarova.
The document also provides for the creation of a working group on Ukraine in the State Department and the appointment by the US presidential administration of a special envoy in Kyiv who would represent Washington at the Normandy format talks.
To enter into force, the bill must still be supported in the Senate and in the House of Representatives, and then signed by the President of the United States.
U.S. humanitarian efforts
In most cases, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is responsible for providing non-military aid to Ukraine. According to information published on the USAID website, more than $ 3 billion has been allocated for Ukraine's needs since 1992.
For example, in March last year, when the Covid-19 pandemic was just gaining momentum, the United States through USAID allocated $ 1.2 million to Ukraine to fight the coronavirus infection. The funds, in particular, were to be spent on media campaigns that would inform Ukrainians how to prevent the spread of the virus.
In the summer of 2020, USAID allocated an additional $ 1 million to Ukraine for expenses related to the Covid-19 pandemic. When the country agreed this year to supply the Pfizer/BioNTech anti-coronavirus vaccine, known for its fastidious transportation and storage conditions, USAID promised to help Ukraine with special refrigerators.
In general, according to the US Embassy in Ukraine, the US government allocated $ 15.5 million to Kyiv to fight the coronavirus and its consequences.
Since the beginning of this year, the United States through USAID has provided Ukraine with additional financial support in the amount of $ 155 million. The money will be used to address a number of key issues in various areas of the country's development.
Thus, the largest part of the funds, $ 63 million, will be directed to countering Russian aggression, namely:
- protecting human rights and ensuring access to justice for Ukrainians who have suffered from the aggression supported by the Kremlin in Crimea and Donbas;
- reducing Ukraine's energy and economic dependence on the Russian Federation by facilitating its connection to the European energy network, as well as strengthening Ukrainian enterprises operating in the east of the country;
- expanding citizens' access to high-quality and objective information in order to counteract malicious influence and disinformation, support European integration and strengthen democratic processes in Ukraine.
In addition, $ 44 million of the total amount of assistance will go to strengthening democracy and governance, $ 34 million - to support economic growth, $ 14 million - to improve anti-corruption measures.
General Financial Assistance in 2021
Based on the words of the former Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States, Volodymyr Yelchenko, this year's financial assistance from the United States of America will amount to more than $ 700 million.
"Aid to Ukraine was allocated 100% last year (2020, - ed.). This year, by the way, its volume was increased by $ 25 million only through the Pentagon, and even more through the State Department. In total, if we take on security, then through the State Department, through USAID and other departments, then this is, respectively, 700 million, even more than 700... - 738 million dollars," Yelchenko told UNN.
Considering two security assistance packages and $ 155 million for Ukraine's development, the United States has already provided most of the funds this year.