REUTERS

The United States plans to give Ukraine US$250 million through the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative for training and equipment to strengthen the country's ability defend itself against Russia, the Pentagon said on Thursday.

The funds for fiscal 2020 are being sent to deter "Russian aggression," the Pentagon said in a statement, Reuters reported.

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The US$250 million can be used to build Ukraine's lethal defense capabilities, air surveillance systems, special operations forces' counter-artillery radars and tactical equipment as well as medical treatment, and cyber capabilities, among other needs, the Pentagon said.

The Pentagon said the aid "reaffirms the long-standing defense relationship between the United States and Ukraine."

The United States says it has provided US$1.5 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since 2014, when Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula.

That assistance has expanded since U.S. President Donald Trump took office, including to weaponry such as Javelin anti-tank missiles made by Lockheed Martin Co, that could be used against Russian-backed forces in conflict-hit east Ukraine.