US Congress Banned Kiev From Spending American Money On “Azov”: What Does It Mean?

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


The House of Representatives of the US Congress banned the government in Kiev from spending money allocated to it on supporting the nationalist battalion “Azov”. The relevant provision is recorded in the draft bill on allocations for the Pentagon. But such an novelty can be considered as nominal, because “Azov” will be sponsored all the same by Kiev even if it is from another feeding trough, stated the member of the council on inter-nation relations of the President of Russia Bogdan Bezpalko to the correspondent of the Federal News Agency.

In the document it is reported that until the end of September the Pentagon can allocate $150 million for rendering military support to Ukraine. This line of expenses will include training, lethal weapons of a defensive kind, ammunition, and other equipment.

“First of all, earlier, reports appeared that financial support for Ukraine is being reduced from more than $500 million to $150 million. Secondly, support for Ukraine via lethal weapons isn’t so much in demand as Ukrainian politicians and military experts repeatedly affirm. In Ukraine there are a lot of weapons, they are being restored even now, and then together with people it is thrown into battle as cannon fodder. The fact that the financing allocation was important for Ukrainian politicians says that, firstly, they are interested in its illegal distribution among themselves, and secondly, they are interested in a demonstration of support from the new US administration,” explains Bezpalko.

Thus, the United States of America, according to the new bill, can also define for what purposes it can go on, and on what the money received by Ukraine mustn’t go on.

“The means allocated according to this bill can’t be used for deliveries of arms, carrying out preparation or rendering any other help to the ‘Azov’ battalion,” it is said in the text of the bill.

The Ukrainian side is forbidden from spending the received money on purchasing or transferring mobile surface-to-air missile systems. Moreover, according to the document, the authorities of Ukraine can’t conclude any deals with “Rosoboronexport”.

“As for the ‘Azov’ battalion, in principle there is no need to be under any illusions, because if Kiev will want to, they will be able to use these means for anything: on acquisition of arms (as it often occurs through some shadow structures). It is no secret that to a great extent the weapons with which ISIS fights are bought in Bulgaria. The mass of the old Soviet arsenal was bought by the Ukrainian army from Hungary, these are former East German weapons. It can be obtained through the same gray schemes, through intermediaries, after all no obstacles are present. And in general, the introduction of such laws is the US’ attempt to save face in front of the world community. The US Congress claims that even the US allocates funds for the punisher battalion ‘Azov’, but it is not at all for its members to kill people,” continues the political expert.

The analyst also considers that Kiev won’t begin to state its discontent with the novelties of Washington. In his opinion, it can be done by some petty politicians or the same commander of “Azov” – Biletsky.

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“Most likely, he will start stating something similar, and will quickly stop and calm down. And in general, to react to Ukrainian politicians is a thankless task,” concluded Bezpalko.

It is also worth noting that the US Congress approved granting to Kiev at least $337 million, which are already included in the financing of the State Department. The specified means cannot go on military needs: providing credit obligations, humanitarian mine clearing of territories, the fight against terrorism, and so on. Earlier, many American media agencies reported that the budget plan unveiled by the American administration for 2018 provides a reduction of international financial aid to Ukraine by 68.8%.

As a reminder, “Azov” is one of the so-called voluntary battalions that was sponsored by private sources of the Ukrainian political elite. Later on, Kiev stated that on the territory of the country there shouldn’t be illegal armed formations, that’s why it was proposed by the Ministry of Defence to voluntary battalions to enter the ranks of the UAF.

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