Amid the reported “Russian military buildup” near the Ukrainian border, the administration of US President Joe Biden is considering a lethal aid package to Kyiv, a new CNN report suggested earlier on Tuesday.
Two “Island” patrol boats from Maryland arrived in Odessa, Ukraine on Tuesday, the Ukrainian navy announced via Facebook.
The vessels were named “Fastiv” and “Sumy”. After the boats pass through customs, unload and are prepared for use, Ukrainian navy flags will be raised on them and they will proceed to “begin their military journey to ensure maritime security in the Black and Azov Seas”.
“We are grateful to our American partners for their many years of continued support to Ukraine. We appreciate the contribution of the United States of America in deterring the Russian Federation’s armed aggression against Ukraine,” said Oleksiy Neyizhpapa, the Commander of the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Earlier in September 2018, the United States provided such patrol boats to Ukraine. Under its Excess Defense Articles programme, Washington has sent similar outdated vessels to Georgia, Pakistan and Costa Rica.
The arrival of two former US patrol boats in Ukraine comes in light of fears of an alleged “Russian invasion” of the neighbouring country – something that Moscow has dismissed as “absurd”. As such reports continue to circulate, the administration of US President Joe Biden is reportedly considering a lethal aid package to Kyiv, particularly mulling the deployment of military advisers and equipment, including weaponry.
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