US Not Planning To Expand Training Programs In Ukraine - Army Spokesperson

WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 18th April, 2021) The United States European Command (USEUCOM) does not plan to provide any additional training to Ukraine's armed forces and will proceed with its regular drills, a US Army spokesperson told Sputnik.

"USEUCOM is not aware of any asks from Ukraine for more training by us there; we already conduct ongoing training with Ukraine on a regular basis," Maj. Monika Comeaux told Sputnik.

The army spokesperson added that in order to enhance interoperability, USEUCOM trains with its allies and partners on a routine basis throughout the year.

"One example is the upcoming annual large-scale U.S. Army Europe and Africa-led, multinational joint exercise Defender Europe 21," Comeaux told Sputnik.

At a Friday briefing with US Charge d'Affaires Kristina Kvien, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal asked the United States to expand the training program for the country's armed forces by US instructors.

Shmyhal said that in addition to the Yavoriv international peacekeeping and security center in Ukraine's Lviv region, Kiev was interested in expanding US training assistance in other locations as well.

On Wednesday, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin confirmed Washington's commitment to providing material and training support to Ukraine during a NATO ministerial meeting in Brussels.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart, Joe Biden, spoke over the phone about Ukraine on Tuesday. Biden said he was concerned about Russia amassing troops near the border and asked it to ease tensions with its neighbor.

Russia maintains that the troop movement is aimed at ensuring national security in response to NATO's own build-up near Russia's borders.