What Happened: The U.S. Department of Defense announced June 18 that it is sending an additional $250 million worth of military aid to Ukraine, which has been fighting pro-Russian separatists in the eastern half of the country. The money will pay the costs of training, equipment and advisers for the Ukrainian military, including the provision of sniper rifles and grenade launchers. In the meantime, Deutsche Welle reported that during a visit by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to Berlin on June 18, German Chancellor Angela Merkel emphasized that European sanctions targeting Russia must be kept in place as long as the conflict in Eastern Ukraine continues.
Why It Matters: Western security and sanctions support for Ukraine are likely to continue as long as the conflict in Eastern Ukraine continues and Russia maintains its annexation of Crimea.
Background: The latest military support brings total U.S. security assistance to Ukraine to $1.5 billion since the conflict in Eastern Ukraine began in 2014. Sanctions by the United States and the European Union have been in place since that year. A vote to renew EU sanctions will be held before the end of July but may come sooner.