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US Congress Calls on White House to Support Sniper Training in Ukraine

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The US House of Representatives stated its support for the US administration to provide sniper training as part of US military assistance to Ukraine, according to the text of the 2017 national defense spending bill.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The House committee is scheduled to vote on the text of the defense spending bill on Wednesday, which could authorize a total of $610 billion in US defense spending in the 2017 fiscal year, including $150 million for Ukraine.

"[The House Armed Services] committee is aware that the Government of Ukraine's request for sniper training was denied by the United States because it is considered offensive training. The committee believes that such a distinction is irrelevant for training focused on building basic soldier skills, and urges the US Government to revisit this issue," the draft bill states.

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The defense bill also restates the policy of Congress to "provide timely support" to Ukraine to defend itself against Russia’s "aggression." Moscow has repeatedly denied accusations that it is militarily involved in the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

In its 2016 budget, Congress authorized $300 million in security assistance to Ukraine, which went toward defensive weapons, training interior security forces, and training special operations forces. President Barack Obama has refused to provide Ukraine with so-called offensive military assistance, despite the urging of lawmakers.

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