The U.S. government has agreed to give $20 million to strengthen Ukraine’s border with Russia and Belarus, Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service said on Dec. 28.
The news comes against a backdrop of looming Russian aggression. Since November, Ukrainian and Western intelligence have warned of a drastic resurgence of Russian military power in regions bordering Ukraine and in the Russian-occupied areas. The military buildup raised concerns about a possible invasion.
The project will kick off in January and will be completed in a year, according to the state agency.
As part of the project, the border will be equipped with video cameras and drones, and border guards will be provided with protective gear, transport and communications equipment.
The agency expects to receive another $4.5 million from the U.S. State Department under the Export Control and Related Border Security program to continue developing the border infrastructure.
The Ukrainian Armed Forces will as well receive aid from the U.S. next year. According to the 2022 defense spending law, signed by U.S. President Joe Biden on Dec. 27, Ukraine will get $300 million under the Security Assistance Initiative.
Ukraine’s intelligence estimated that Russia now has nearly 122,000 troops deployed in regions within 200 kilometers from the Ukrainian state border.
Amid the ongoing security crisis, Moscow has repeatedly issued demands for NATO to accept a legal guarantee not to let Ukraine join the alliance and cease its military presence in Eastern Europe.