The Biden administration has pledged to finance an overhaul of Ukrainian border security on its Russian and Belarussian front in advance of January talks with the Kremlin, according to Reuters.
Ukraine has estimated that the project will cost around $20 million and include the purchase of video recording systems, drones, and personal protective equipment for border guards.
The heightened security would strengthen Ukraine against disputes with Belarus, which criticized Ukrainian military officials Dec. 5 over alleged violations of Belarussian airspace, according to Fox News.
”The military attaché was informed that the Ukrainian side is avoiding a dialogue to resolve disputes … which is very worrying,” the Belarussian defense ministry said.
The move comes as satellite imagery released on Nov. 8 showed Russia amassed around 90,000 troops near Ukraine’s border.
U.S. intelligence reported that Russia was planning an offensive against the former Soviet bloc country involving at least 175,000 troops, The Washington Post reported on Dec. 3.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned that Russia would face ”massive consequences” if it invaded Ukraine, according to Fox News.
”It would be a serious mistake for Russia to engage in a repeat of what it did in 2014,” Blinken said, referring to the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula by Russia from Ukraine that year.
Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the U.S. of being conspiratorial regarding the troop movement and demanded that ”bases and strike weapons systems” not be established were Ukraine to join NATO.
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