Ukraine Embassy: Veto on U.S. defense bill not obstacle to arming Kyiv
The Ukrainian Embassy to the United States says that Obama's veto on the defense policy bill is unrelated to the provision of arms to the Ukrainian side and is not an obstacle to arming Kyiv.
"U.S. President Barack Obama vetoed the defense policy bill for 2016 due to a number of reasons, which are not related to the volume of assistance to Ukraine, which is foreseen in this document," the embassy said.
In particular, it notes that the U.S. president explained his veto by budget cuts, which remain in force, by the Congress's ignoring of a number of White House-proposed reforms to modernize the army, as well as that the provisions of this document make it impossible to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center, which has been Obama's main goal since his presidential campaign.
According to the embassy, Obama didn't reject the military assistance to Ukraine in the amount of $300 million for the next year.
Now the document has been sent back to the Congress, where the votes of two-thirds of the Senate and the House of Representatives are necessary to overcome the presidential veto. Under congressional rules, the House will consider the veto before the Senate. A vote has been scheduled for November 5.
The embassy says that even in the case this bill fails to become law, the provision of military and other assistance to Ukraine will not stop, as in this case the so-called "continuing resolution" will be passed. The continuing resolution continues the pre-existing appropriations at the same levels as the previous fiscal year (or with minor modifications) for a set amount of time.