16:26 Aug. 6, 2016
Michael Carpenter on US commitments to Ukraine
The US provides military support to Ukraine as part of the Budapest memorandum on Security assurances. This is reported by the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Michael Carpenter in an interview with Voice of America on August 5, 2016.
"We've done a lot in the military sphere. Since the conflict started we have given more than USD 600 mln to support Ukraine. We've also launched a really big, and as it appeared, a really successful training program in Ukraine, to train the National Guard and the Armed Forces", Carpenter said.
He also commented on the current state of Ukraine's army. Carpenter said it was "completely devastated" when the conflict began, but a lot has changed since then.
"They (Ukrainian armed forces) still have a lot of work ahead. Especially, if Ukraine wants to create a new army, compatible with NATO forces, by 2020. This requires a lot of efforts put into structural reorganization, logistics reform, military health system etc", Carpenter said.
He stated the US would continue to help Ukraine reform its armed forces – financially as well as by training and advising. "This is our goal", Carpenter said.
The Budapest memorandum is a set of political agreements, signed in 1994. Under its terms, Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons in exchange for security and territorial integrity assurances from Russia, US, and the UK.
After Russia annexed Crimea the West accused it of violating the deal. Moscow said in response the Memorandum didn't apply to the annexation.
According to various experts, the Budapest agreement was mostly political, and the assurances did not impose any legal obligations on its parties.