by Jeryl Bier
As part of the U.S. Crisis Support Package for Ukraine announced by the White House in April, the State Department awarded a $435,000 contract to B.K. Engineering System in Kyiv for razor wire to help “defend the newly imposed borders between Ukraine’s mainland and the Crimean peninsula.” The contract was awarded on June 12, but was just posted online this week.
An $8 million “non-lethal assistance” package was announced at the same time as a larger $50 million aid package for Ukraine to “help Ukraine pursue political and economic reform and strengthen the partnership between the United States and Ukraine.” The razor wire (Concertina) is included under “[e]ngineering equipment, communications equipment, vehicles, and non-lethal individual tactical gear for Ukraine’s Border Guard Service” that was spelled out in the April Fact Sheet. The contract notice posted online says:
[T]his order is for the delivery of 2,500 spools of Concertina wire for the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine referenced in the Office of the Vice President’s Fact Sheet entitled “U.S. Crisis Support Package for Ukraine” dated 22 April 2014. This Fact Sheet includes Security Assistance in which the Office of the Vice President announced the provision of urgently needed non-lethal assistance to the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine to fulfill its core security mission.
More recently, according to a report in the Daily Beast, the eastern Russian-Ukrainian border has been under greater threat than the Crimean border. President Obama spoke to Ukrainian president Poroshenko on Monday to discuss recent events and reiterate that “any Russian intervention in Ukraine without the formal, express consent and authorization of the Ukraine government would be unacceptable and a violation of international law.” President Obama last spoke with Russian president Vladimir Putin on August 1 where he “reiterated his deep concerns about Russia’s increased support for the separatists in Ukraine” and “about Russia’s compliance with its obligations under the INF Treaty.”