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Border Barrier Money Returns, Ukraine Aid Package Announced

June 11, 2021 | BY Jim Garamone , DOD News

The Biden administration's cancellation of border barriers returns $2.2 billion to the Defense Department, Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby said today.

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Kirby also announced more aid to Ukraine during a press conference.

The department released a memo signed by Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen H. Hicks that redirects funds for 66 projects in 11 states, three territories and 16 countries this fiscal year.

"We announced … on April 30, the cancellation of all border barrier construction projects paid for with funds that were originally designed and meant for other missions and functions," Kirby said. "The decision to restore this funding was based on operational and component priorities."

Kirby also announced a $150 million package as part of the Ukraine security assistance initiative. The initiative is designed to help Ukraine's forces preserve their country's territorial integrity, and to improve interoperability with NATO.

"The package includes capabilities such as to counter artillery, radars, counter unmanned aerial systems, and secure communications," Kirby said. This new package will complement a $125 million package announced in March. 

A man at a lectern speaks. A plaque on the wall behind him indicates that he is at the Pentagon.
Kirby Briefing
Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby holds a press briefing, at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., June 11, 2021.
Photo By: Marine Corps Sgt. Taryn Escott, DOD
VIRIN: 210611-D-ZY556-0035

DOD and counterparts in the State Department certified that Ukraine has made progress in defense reforms, allowing the package to move forward. "The department continues to encourage Ukraine to enact reforms that are in line with NATO principles and standards to advance its Euro-Atlantic aspirations," he said. 

The United States has committed more than $2.5 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since 2014. The United States "will continue to strengthen our strategic defense partnership, including through the provision of defensive lethal assistance," the press secretary said.