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    Ukrainian servicemen take part in a welcome ceremony for first plane from United State with non-lethal aid including ten Humvee vehicles to Ukraine at Borispol airport near Kiev, March 25, 2015.

    Ukrainian Army Expects ‘Timely’ Tripling of Western Assistance

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    Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak said that Ukraine has close cooperation with states, including member states of the NATO alliance and the financial aid of these countries could be tripled.

    KIEV (Sputnik) – The Ukrainian armed forces expect "timely" Western assistance to triple this year, Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak said at a parliamentary committee session on economic policy Wednesday.

    "We have close cooperation with states, including member states of the [North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)] alliance. Last year’s aid amounted to more than $100 million, this year it is planned at around $300 million," Poltorak said.

    Under a 2016 defense budget signed by US President Barack Obama last November, Ukraine is set to receive $300 million in military assistance this year. The Ukrainian Embassy in the United States said in December that Washington had increased its assistance to $658.1 million, including logistical support, training and defense weapons deliveries.

    "There is an understanding from our partners, and I hope that this help will come to us in a timely manner," Poltorak told lawmakers, acknowledging the shortage among countries willing to sell military equipment to Ukraine.

    US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt said in January that Washington provided military equipment and training valued at over $266 million to improve the Ukrainian forces’ efficiency since 2014.

    The United States has been assisting Ukraine with economic and non-lethal military aid following the 2014 political crisis and Crimea’s referendum to reunite with Russia. It has ruled out delivering lethal weapons to Ukraine on grounds that Kiev is capable of manufacturing lethal equipment independently.

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    financial aid, NATO, Ukrainian Armed Forces, Stepan Poltorak, Ukraine
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