WASHINGTON, September 25 (RIA Novosti) – US military aid to the government of Ukraine does not include "lethal assistance," US National Security Council spokesperson Caitlin Hayden told RIA Novosti Thursday.
US President Barack Obama authorized US Secretary of State John Kerry to allocate $25 million to the Ukrainian government Wednesday, according to a memorandum released by the White House.
"None of this [aid] is lethal assistance," Hayden said, adding that "The Secretary can use this authority to provide equipment and training to the Government of Ukraine's security forces, including body armor, counter-mortar radars, rations, de mining equipment, binoculars, first-aid equipment and supplies, sleeping bags, tents, uniform items and cold-weather clothing, and other related items."
"Assistance directed by the Secretary under this authority would be part of the $46 million in security assistance that the President announced on September 18, during Ukrainian President [Petro] Poroshenko's visit," Hayden added.
According to the spokesperson, the United States has committed $116 million in security assistance in support of the Ukrainian government since the beginning of the crisis in the country.
In mid-April, Kiev authorities launched a special military operation to suppress independence supporters in the southeast of Ukraine, who refused to recognize the new government which came to power as a result of the February coup.
On September 5, the Ukrainian government forces and independence supporters agreed on a ceasefire and an "all-for-all" prisoner exchange at a meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine held in the Belarusian capital, Minsk.
Last week, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed the Ukraine Freedom Support Act, allocating millions of dollars in military assistance to Ukraine.