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 US Senate adopts 2017 Pentagon budget, stipulating for $500 million in aid to Ukraine

The upper chamber of the U.S. Congress on Tuesday passed the bill S.2943 authorizing appropriations for fiscal year 2017 in terms of defense.

The document provides for financial assistance for Ukraine's defense needs in the amount of up to $500 million, Censor.NET reports.

"$250,000,000 may be used for assistance and support described in subsection (a) for the Government of Ukraine," the document notes.

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Moreover, additional $250 million may be allocated upon a certification by the secretary of defense, in coordination with the secretary of state. To this end, the Congress needs to be convinced that Ukraine "has taken substantial actions to make defense institutional reforms to decrease corruption, increase accountability, and sustain improvements of combat capability enabled by such security assistance."

It should be noted that the lower house of the U.S. Congress adopted a similar bill (H.R.4909) with a budget for the Pentagon in mid-May. The document stipulates only $150 million in military assistance for Ukraine.

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Both bills must undergo a coordination procedure in order for all the items, including the funding of operations abroad, to be brought to a common value. After that, the document is sent for signature by U.S. president.

Meanwhile, the White House said that Obama is set to veto the bill in its current form, since this budget is incapable of providing the U.S. military with sufficient funds needed to ensure security. Earlier, the president insisted on additional appropriations for the fight against ISIS and the continuation of other military operations abroad.

In general, the 2017 Pentagon draft budget (the U.S. Senate version) stipulates allocation of $500 billion for operations abroad, which is $200 billion more than this year.

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