Ukraine's border guard has received a large percentage of the US-funded equipment it had requested, a Pentagon spokesman said.
Steven Warren told reporters on Tuesday that the Pentagon recently provided funding to Ukraine for locally purchased equipment, Xinhua reported. "To date," he said, "using Cooperative Threat Reduction funds, Embassy Kiev has purchased and delivered fuel pumps, vehicle batteries, spare parts, binoculars and communications gear for the Ukrainian border guards for use in monitoring and securing their borders."
The assistance to Ukraine falls into two categories: one for the border guard and another for regular army support, he added.
On the increase in Russian naval presence in the Black Sea, Warren emphasised the need for de-escalation. "The Black Sea is international waters," he said. "The Russians, of course, as all nations, can travel through international waters. We have long called on the Russians to take steps to de-escalate the tension in that region."
"Certainly, increased naval presence in the Black Sea does not contribute to de-escalation," he said. "Pentagon officials believe the Russians have an opportunity to take actions that will help to bring a swift and peaceful resolution to the situation in Ukraine," Warren added.
Tensions remain unabated in eastern Ukraine, where government troops and pro-Russia activists are engaged in heavy fighting.