5 Things to Know About the U.S.-Ukraine Defense Relationship

5 Things to Know About the U.S.-Ukraine Defense Relationship

U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia Laura K. Cooper and Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Alina Frolova co-chaired a meeting of the U.S.-Ukraine Bilateral Defense Consultations today in Kyiv.

5 Things to Know About the U.S.-Ukraine Defense Relationship

The United States and Ukraine are committed to a strong, enduring defense partnership, a defense official said. The Defense Department and Ukraine's defense ministry conduct annual bilateral defense consultations to reaffirm the strategic defense partnership and set priorities for the bilateral defense partnership.

What You Should Know About the DOD's Relationship with Ukraine:

1. The U.S. stands firmly in support of Ukraine's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, the defense official said. DOD demonstrates this commitment through the Bilateral Defense Consultations, which brings together civilian and military personnel from the DOD and Ukraine's defense ministry, the official noted.

2. In 2016, the U.S. and Ukraine agreed to a 5-year concept of partnership that focuses on developing a robust and capable Ukranian military and reforming the Ukrainian defense sector to be in line with NATO standards and principles. The Bilateral Defense Consultations sets the priorities for the bilateral defense relationship for the next year in accordance with the partnership agreement, the defense official said. The consultations identify common goals and objectives for the U.S. and Ukraine to collaborate on, such as defense sector transformation, security cooperation, and acquisition reform.

3. Since 2014, the defense official said, the U.S. has provided more than $1.6 billion in security assistance to help Ukraine defend its territorial integrity, deter further Russian aggression, and progress toward NATO interoperability. Alongside key NATO allies, the U.S. is training and advising Ukrainian security forces in western Ukraine through the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine to help improve Ukraine's internal defense capabilities and develop an institutional training capacity in accordance with NATO standards.

4. Ukraine has made significant strides on defense reform, the defense official said. Its 2018 adoption of a national security law provides a legislative framework for aligning its national security architecture with Euro-Atlantic principles, the official said.

DOD supports Ukraine's efforts to strengthen democratic civilian control of the military, promote command and control reforms, enhance transparency and accountability in acquisition and budgeting, and advance defense industry reforms. These reforms will bolster Ukraine's ability to defend its territorial integrity in support of a secure, prosperous, democratic and free Ukraine, the defense official said.

5. The U.S. and Ukraine co-host two annual military exercises: Exercise Rapid Trident, an annual, multinational exercise focused on situational training and field training, and Exercise Sea Breeze, a multinational maritime exercise held in the Black Sea to strengthen regional maritime security.