POLITICS

Ukraine Still Hasn't Received $35 Million Of Approved Military Aid

The money is part of the $400 million package delayed by President Donald Trump, which sparked an impeachment inquiry.

About $35 million in congressionally approved military aid to Ukraine still has not been delivered to the vulnerable U.S. ally, according to a Defense Department official and a report by the Los Angeles Times.

The money, which had reportedly been earmarked for grenade launchers, secure communications and naval combat craft, has not left the U.S. Treasury, the Times reported Tuesday, citing a Pentagon spending document. 

The White House previously said aid had been released to the Ukraine. 

A Pentagon spokesperson told the Times the money would be released “over the next several weeks.” A reason for the delay was not provided.

A Defense Department spokesperson, in an email to HuffPost, said the funds remain available and suggested that it was a matter of red tape over how the funding would be spent.

President Donald Trump shakes hands with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during a meeting in New York on Sept. 25.
President Donald Trump shakes hands with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during a meeting in New York on Sept. 25.

“As a general matter, security assistance funds are not transferred directly to the recipient nation, but to the Military Departments and their respective program offices, which obligate the funds under contracts with the companies providing the relevant goods and services,” Lt. Col. Thomas Campbell said in an email.

He added that the Defense Department “is committed to obligating these funds as quickly as possible in accordance with contracting procedures as required by law.”

The delayed $35.2 million is part of a $400 million military aid package that President Donald Trump delayed, sparking an impeachment inquiry into whether he improperly held up the funds for his own political benefit.

In a report released in September, a whistleblower accused Trump of asking Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in July for personal favors in exchange for the funds. These requests included Trump asking Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, who is in the running to be the Democratic nominee in the 2020 election.  

The White House has said in the wake of the whistleblower report that there had been no wrongdoing and that Ukraine was eventually given its aid. Senate Republicans have said the funds were delayed because Trump was not convinced that Zelensky was serious about fighting corruption.

The White House did not respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.

This story has been updated with a response from the Defense Department.