U.S. increases financial assistance for Ukraine in 2016 to $658 mln
The financial assistance of the United States for Ukraine in 2016 shall be $658.185 million, which is $145 million above the initial request, the press service of the Ukrainian Embassy to the United States has reported.
According to the report, on December 18, 2015, U.S. President Barack Obama signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 passed by the Congress earlier that day. The Law is comprised of twelve bills that appropriate the funding for the federal government. According to the Act, the U.S. assistance to Ukraine will significantly increase.
"Of the funds appropriated by the Department of State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2016, constituting part of the omnibus legislation, not less than $658,185,000 shall be made available for assistance for Ukraine, which is $145 million above the initial request," the Embassy reported.
"Combined with resources from other funds that may become available for the U.S. Department of State and Department of Defense, the total amount of funds for the defense and security assistance to Ukraine may exceed the authorized level of $300 million allocated for Ukraine in the National Defense Authorization Act, 2016," the Embassy said.
"These appropriations also include $250 million to be available to the Secretary of Defense to provide Ukraine with assistance, including training; equipment; lethal weapons of a defensive nature; logistics support, supplies and services; sustainment; and intelligence support to the military and national security forces of Ukraine," the Embassy said.
Another important provision of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 lifts a 40-year ban on the national crude oil exports. The decision will also assist efforts to strengthen the European energy security, as well as to decrease Ukraine’s reliance on the Russian energy resources.