Department of State
Office of the Spokesperson
For Immediate Release
Press Statement by Robert Palladino, Deputy Spokesperson
December 21, 2018
In response to Russia’s dangerous escalation and unjustified November 25 attack on three Ukrainian naval vessels near the Kerch Strait, the Department of State, subject to Congressional approval, will provide an additional $10 million in Foreign Military Financing to further build Ukraine’s naval capabilities. We do so in solidarity with Lithuania and the United Kingdom, also planning to increase their security assistance to Ukraine. The United States calls on Russia to immediately return to Ukraine the seized vessels and detained Ukrainian crews, to keep the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov open to ships transiting to and from Ukrainian ports, and to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, extending to its territorial waters.