U.S. assistance to Ukraine still 'frozen'

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Photo: president.gov.ua

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence in Warsaw on September 1, 2019

"The funding was still on hold as of Tuesday morning, according to a person familiar with the matter," the Arlington, Virginia-based Politico ezine said on September 3.

For the 2019 fiscal year, U.S. lawmakers allocated $250 million in security aid to Ukraine, including money for weapons, training, equipment and intelligence support. Of the funds, Congress set aside $50 million for weaponry. The funding will expire if not released by the end of September. The assistance funds cannot be spent while under review.

Quote"The move has irked lawmakers and national security veterans, who argue that the United States must make a sustained commitment to countering Russia’s military aggression in the region and show that it stands with Ukraine. Russia annexed the Crimea region of Ukraine in 2014," Politico said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has not appointed an ambassador to the United States.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who met with Zelensky in Poland on September 1, did not publicly address whether the administration plans to unfreeze the funding.

According to Bloomberg, Pence said the American people "stand with Ukraine" but that European nations should do more to help.

The U.S. has "carried the load" on Ukraine and "we’ve been proud to do that," Pence told reporters said Warsaw. "But we believe it’s time for our European partners to step forward."

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