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U.S. delays assistance to Ukraine

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Photo: President.gov.ua

Photo: President.gov.ua

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky meeting with U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton in Kyiv on Wednesday, August 28, 2019

The Trump is delaying $250 million in military assistance to Ukraine, annoying lawmakers and advocates who argue the funding is critical to keeping Russia at bay.

President Donald Trump asked his national security team to review the funding program, known as the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, in order to ensure the money is being used in the best interest of the United States, a senior administration official told the Virginia-based ezine POLITICO on Wednesday.

POLITICO's source said that Defense Secretary Mark Esper and U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton are among the officials reviewing the Ukraine security funding.

The delays come amid questions over Trump’s approach to Russia, after a weekend in which the president repeatedly seemed to downplay Moscow’s military intervention in Ukraine and pushed for Russia to be reinstated into the Group of Seven.

U.S. Congressman and Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff on August 29 said on Twitter the delay of American aid to Ukraine is destructive to U.S. national security.

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Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky are expected to meet for the first time in Warsaw on September 1, 2019. Trump's personal lawyer Rudy (Rudolph) Guliani has been critical of some of Zelensky's appointees, including Presidential Office of Ukraine chief Andriy Bohdan. 

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