Trump signs $717 bln defense bill with $250 mln in security assistance to Ukraine
U.S. President Donald Trump has signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2019, authorizing $717 billion for national defense.
The signing ceremony was held at the military base at Fort Drum (New York) on Monday.
Earlier, the NDAA was supported by the U.S. Senate.
According to the newspaper Washington Examiner, the NDAA foresees the allocation of funds to counteract Russia's influence. It also suspends sales of F-35 joint strike fighters to Turkey until the Pentagon delivers a report on bilateral military relations and Turkey's potential purchase of the S-400 air and missile defense system from Russia.
A raft of Russia measures in the NDAA clears the way for the military to pursue a new low-yield nuclear warhead, hikes authorized funding for the U.S. military presence in eastern Europe, and provides new waivers the Pentagon says could wean allies from dependence on Moscow.
The NDAA also prohibits the government and any contractors from doing business with Chinese telecom ZTE or Huawei Technologies, which many lawmakers see as a national security threat.
"This NDAA builds on the progress we made earlier this year in the bipartisan budget agreement, which provided for the largest year-on-year increase in funding for American armed forces in 15 years," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said.
The NDAA for 2019 authorizes the allocation to the U.S. Department of Defense of $250 million for the provision of security assistance to Ukraine, including $50 million for lethal weapons.
The document includes the major clauses of the Ukraine Cybersecurity Cooperation Act, which, inter alia, provides assistance to Ukraine in securing government computer networks from malicious cyber intrusions, particularly such networks that defend the critical infrastructure of Ukraine. It is also aimed to provide Ukraine support in reducing reliance on Russian information and communications technology, as well as assist Ukraine in building its capacity, expanding cybersecurity information sharing, and cooperating in international cyberspace efforts.
The document also reaffirms the commitment of the United States to the U.S.–Ukraine Charter on Strategic Partnership and the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances, as well as U.S. support to cooperation between NATO and Ukraine.