NEW YORK – The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), the largest grassroots representation of Americans of Ukrainian descent, welcomed the passage and signing into law on March 23 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018, which stipulates that “not less than $420,700,000 shall be made available for assistance for Ukraine.”
Furthermore, an additional $200 million was appropriated to provide assistance in 2018 for total of $620.7 million available once all the provisions are accounted for. The latter sum will go towards continued funding of the ‘‘Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative,” including training, equipment, lethal weapons of a defensive nature, logistics support, supplies and services, sustainment, and intelligence support to the military and national security forces of Ukraine.
Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), co-chair of the Senate Ukraine Caucus, announced that this bipartisan legislation “sends a clear signal that the United States will stand up for its allies and interests and hold Russia accountable for its behavior.”
The UCCA expressed thanks to advocates for greater U.S.-Ukraine relations in sending yet another signal of unity in the face of Russian aggression. This legislation follows an unprecedented sequence of U.S. support for Ukraine, beginning with the enactment of the Ukraine Freedom Support Act (2014), as well as the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (2015), the Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act (2016) and the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (2017).
As with the most recent appropriation bills signed into law, the legislation will once again forbid appropriated funds from being made available for “(a) the implementation of any action or policy that recognizes the sovereignty of the Russian Federation over Crimea or other territory in Ukraine; (b) the facilitation, financing, or guarantee of United States government investments in Crimea or other territory in Ukraine under the control of Russian-backed separatists, if such activity includes the participation of Russian government officials, or other Russian owned or controlled financial entities; or (c) assistance for Crimea or other territory in Ukraine under the control of Russian-backed separatists, if such assistance includes the participation of Russian government officials, or other Russian owned or controlled financial entities.”