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"Asset of Russia": trump froze military aid to Ukraine

President Trump asked his national security staff to review Ukraine’s military financing program ."The asset of Russia": trump froze military aid to Ukraine

President Trump asked his national security staff to review Ukraine’s military financing program to make sure that the money is used in the interests of the United States. On Capitol Hill, such a move was negatively assessed, saying that the head of the country shows himself as an “asset of Russia.

"Asset of Russia": trump froze military aid to Ukraine

The administration of US President Donald Trump froze $ 250 million for military assistance to Ukraine, thereby irritating American lawmakers and Ukrainian lawyers in the United States, who argue that such funding is crucial to “contain Russia”.

Trump asked his national security staff to review the funding program, known as the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, to make sure the money is used in the interests of the United States, a senior White House administration official told Politico.
United States military assistance to Ukraine is designed to “contain Russia” - this is the point of view of American lawmakers who have expressed clear disagreement with Donald Trump's opinion on the temporary freezing of funds allocated to Kyiv.

This also happened amid widespread internal debates in the US Congress and Senate about whether to try to stop or reduce the flow of billions of dollars intended to help foreign countries.
United States military assistance to Ukraine has long been considered the litmus test of how much the US government “puts pressure on Moscow,” Politico notes.
In 2017, the Donald Trump administration approved the sale of lethal weapons to Ukraine, taking a step that the Barack Obama administration could not decide before. The move was seen as a sign that the Trump government is taking a tough approach. Reducing this assistance could expose Donald Trump to the fact that his policy favours Moscow, American congressmen and senators believe.

“Asset of Russia

In fiscal 2019, lawmakers allocated $ 250 million to Ukraine for security assistance, including funds for weapons, training, various equipment, and intelligence support. In particular, the US Congress allocated $ 50 million for weapons alone.
Now, this funding is being called into question. A senior administration official who chose to remain anonymous said the president wants to prioritize US interests when it comes to foreign aid and is looking for guarantees that other countries "pay their fair share."
It should be noted that US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and White House National Security Advisor John Bolton are among the officials considering financing for Ukraine’s security, that is, they are among those who audit assistance to Kyiv.
However, Donald Trump’s similar explanation does not suit legislators on Capitol Hill, where members of both houses insist on increasing military assistance to Ukraine and US efforts to contain Russia in Eastern Europe. 
According to Tom Malinowski, a New Jersey Democrat who sits on the House’s Foreign Affairs Committee, “this is at least a temporary effect.”
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“The big problem is that Trump is once again showing himself as an asset for Russia,” the legislator said.
Funds for Ukraine cannot be spent while they are under consideration, and they expire on September 30 - at the end of this fiscal year. According to the US Department of Defense, the amount of military assistance provided by Washington to Kyiv since 2014 is $ 1.5 billion.
“We are aware that the Office of Management and Budget is delaying the financing of the Ukraine Security Promotion Initiative,” said Evan Hollander, representative of the House Appropriations Committee. 
“We have serious concerns about the freezing of these important allocated funds, and we urgently ask the administration why they are holding up these resources,” added Evan Hollander.
According to him, the US House of Representatives Committee on Armed Forces "is aware of the restriction, but requested additional information about what this means and what it applies to."
In a April statement to Politico, the chairman of the US Senate Armed Forces Committee, Jim Inhofe (Oklahoma), called for increased funding for a security assistance initiative in Ukraine and said that most of the money “should go towards the purchase of lethal defensive weapons that can make Ukraine is a more difficult target. ”
Wider attempts by the Trump administration to freeze or cut back on foreign aid, which White House officials consider wasteful, sparked intense discussion on Capitol Hill. Lawmakers have warned of a possible deterioration in relations with the White House when it comes to using the allocated funds.
Last week, the Donald Trump administration, as a result of a violent reaction in the US Congress, abandoned one of its plans that would cut more than $ 4 billion in 10 areas of foreign aid, including funds for international peacekeeping operations, drug control and global efforts in the field of health care. The administration also abandoned a similar plan last year.
Rep. Hal Rogers, a senior member of the House of Representatives committee that oversees State Department funding, and Senator Lindsay Graham, a member of the Senate External Relations and Appropriation Committees, have warned Donald Trump about the inadmissibility of cutting back on such funding.
The leaders of both the Republican and Democratic parties in the House Foreign Representatives Committee and the US Senate Foreign Affairs Committee also sounded the alarm.

It's not about volume

Daniel Fried, a professional diplomat who worked in both the republican and democratic administrations and most recently was the coordinator of the Department of State for sanctions, said such decisions sent the wrong signal, allegedly under strong pressure from Moscow’s allegedly aggressive behaviour.
“If the Donald Trump administration has a good reason for a sudden reduction in security assistance to Ukraine, then representatives of the White House should share it,” Fried said.
“The new leaders of Ukraine, who took office as a result of free and fair elections, have earned and deserve the support of America, and not obscure signals,” he added.
However, as you know, in addition to freezing aid to Ukraine, Donald Trump also refused to allocate another hundred of millions of dollars. The head of the White House is going to direct these funds to support the priorities of his own immigration enforcement.
For example, the administration plans to redirect $ 271 million from various accounts of the Department of Homeland Security, including $ 155 million for federal disaster relief to increase funding for its immigration activities.
«Вызывает серьезную обеспокоенность тот факт, что в ходе деятельности этой администрации нарастало несоответствие между волей конгресса и процедурами по исполнению требований иммиграционного департамента, которые зачастую не имеют под собой оснований», — так охарактеризовала последние действия Трампа член палаты представителей Люсиль Ройбал-Аллард (демократ от штата Калифорния).
“In accordance with the US plans, Ukraine in 2019 was supposed to allocate $ 50 million for the purchase of pure weapons. Is it a lot or a little? For example, the fourth-generation European fighter Eurofighter Typhoon back in 2012 was worth 123 million dollars. And the AMX-56 Leclerc tank is about 6 million euros. So the funds allocated to Ukraine are relatively small. But here the trend is important. It is possible that after defrosting it will increase significantly, ” Konstantin Makienko, deputy director of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, 
As for the share of Ukrainian components in the finish products of the Russian defense industry, then after 2014, it was rapidly declining, the source said. 
For example, in such a sensitive area as the production of gas turbine engines for surface ships, Russia has almost completely got rid of possible supplies from Ukrainian enterprises. Until recently, critical dependence on Ukrainian aircraft engines has also been overcome. By mid-2019, the dependence on supplies of components by a neighbour in the Russian defense industry decreased to almost zero.

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