DoD Provides $200 Million in Security Cooperation Funds to Ukraine

FILE – The Pentagon is seen in this aerial view in Washington in this

According to the statement, the aid "reaffirms the long-standing defense relationship between the United States and Ukraine and brings the total USA security sector assistance to Ukraine to more than $1 billion since 2014".

The funds will be used "for additional training, equipment and advisory efforts to build the defensive capacity of Ukraine's forces", the Pentagon said in a statement. All the military aid is nonlethal in nature.

The money is meant to aid various aspects of Ukraine's military.

The conflict in eastern Ukraine started in 2014 between the government forces and armed groups that declared independence from Kiev.

"The implementation of these reforms will bolster Ukraine's ability to defend its territorial integrity in support of a secure and democratic Ukraine", the Pentagon said.

Citing officials who attended Mr. Putin's closed-door meetings with Russian diplomats on Thursday, Bloomberg said Mr. Trump had asked Mr. Putin not to publicise the referendum idea after Monday's summit to give the US leader time to consider it.

The announcement came days after US President Donald Trump's summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin sparked outrage at home, where even some Republicans said the US leader had been far too conciliatory to his counterpart.

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