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US inspectors arrive in Kyiv to help oversee aid

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk January 29, 2024 2:13 PM 2 min read
U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink (the second from the right) and U.S. inspectors in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Jan. 29, 2024. (Ambassador Bridget Brink/X)
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Three Inspectors General from the U.S. Defense Department, the State Department, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) arrived in Kyiv on Jan. 29 for meetings with Ukrainian officials, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink announced.

"Their meetings with implementers, partners, and the Ukrainian government support oversight and accountability for U.S. assistance to Ukraine," the ambassador wrote on the social media platform X.

The assistance from Washington, the leading military donor to Kyiv, has effectively dried up as over $61 billion remains held up in Congress by domestic political disputes.

U.S. inspectors previously visited Ukraine on Sept. 13, 2023. Brink said in an interview with Fox News last November that the inspections have not uncovered any cases of military aid theft in Ukraine.

The U.S. Defense Department Inspector General's Office said on Jan. 10 that Washington had improved its military aid tracking systems but had failed to track over $1 billion in weapons as of June 2023.

Certain U.S.-supplied defense equipment is subject to enhanced end-use monitoring (EEUM), meaning the items are supposed to be closely tracked. The additional monitoring requirements apply to weapons such as Javelin and Stinger missiles, Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM), unmanned aircraft systems, and night vision devices.

The inspector general's report says that of the $1.699 billion in EEUM-designated military aid sent to Ukraine, $1.005 billion remains "delinquent."

Pentagon Spokesperson General Pat Ryder said in a press briefing on Jan. 11 that the findings do not mean weapons sent to Ukraine are being misused, diverted, or stolen.

There is "no credible evidence of illicit diversion of U.S.-provided advanced conventional weapons from Ukraine," Ryder said.

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