08:25 GMT18 February 2020
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    The United States is prepared to provide supplementary training to Ukrainian forces in addition to the existing extensive training programs, US Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James stated at a Defense One forum on Tuesday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — James noted that Ukrainian officials are "very full of hope" that the United States will continue supporting them. Since 2014, the United States has provided $600 million in non-lethal security assistance to Ukraine, though many lawmakers have pressed the White House to provide lethal arms to Kiev.

    "We had discussions about additional types of training that we might be able to provide to them, and of course we have extensive training programs in the air force," James said of recent talks with the Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister.

    In mid-July, James visited eight countries in eastern Europe, including a stop in Ukraine to discuss ongoing US assistance. During her trip, James also met with her counterparts in Bulgaria, as well as Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, where the United States is part of the Baltic air policing mission.

    During the multi-state visit, many US allies expressed concern over Russia, in particular recent snap military exercises, James explained.

    Russia maintains the sovereign right to self-defense, and exercising its military. Moreover, Moscow has warned that US and NATO amassing of troops and military equipment on Russia’s borders, as well as massive exercises, are provocative acts and can endanger regional and global stability.

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    training program, US Air Force, Deborah Lee James, United States, Ukraine
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