The United States and Ukraine governments have strengthened their strategic defense relationship, as US President Joe Biden signed a $60 million security assistance package for Ukraine “to better defend itself against Russian aggression.”
The deal will include additional Javelin anti-armor systems, among other arms and services.
In a Pentagon Meeting earlier this week with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Minister of Defense Andrii Taran, US Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III remarked on the significance of the security assistance package.
According to Austin, the strategic framework established between the two countries “enhances our cooperation and advances our shared priorities.” This includes helping Ukraine battle Russian aggression, and further implementing defense industry reforms.
“The United States and our allies are committed to supporting Ukraine’s right to decide its own future foreign policy, free from outside interference,” the secretary said.
He added that Ukraine can count on the US’ “continued support” towards a “more secure, prosperous and democratic and free Ukraine.”
US-Ukraine Defense Relations
Ukraine has made an effort to upgrade its military strength in recent years as tensions with Russia continue. Although the country has long relied on its own resources during the conflict in the east of the country, it has also made a concerted effort to garner support from the West.
Although not every country has responded to Ukraine’s requests for assistance, the US has consistently answered the call.
In October 2019, the US approved Ukraine’s purchase of Javelin missiles and launch units at an estimated cost of nearly $40 million.