WASHINGTON: The United States wants to send troops to Ukraine in order to train Ukrainian military forces, the Pentagon said.
Under to the Pentagon plan which has to be approved by Congress, US troops stationed in Europe or California National Guard soldiers will train and equip Ukrainian National Guard forces at a security center inside Ukraine.
The effort would help “build their capacity for internal defense,” the Pentagon press secretary rear admiral John Kirby said.
“It’s an area where we do multilateral exercises. It’s an area that we’re familiar with,” Kirby said.
The Pentagon press secretary also said that the administration of President Barack Obama has asked Congress for authority to spend $19 million next year for training and equipping Ukrainian forces.
“Our intent is to use $19 million in Global Security [Contingency] Fund authority. That’s what the authority’s for,” Kirby said in reference to a fund shared by the departments of Defense and State for security training programs.
The move comes as more Democrats and Republicans in Congress have increased calls for more support for Ukrainian forces in the face of continuing support from Russia for Ukrainian separatists.