WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US training for the Ukrainian military is underway and being directed from NATO and the US Embassy in Kiev, former top US Pentagon official Jan Lodal said at an Atlantic Council conference.
“There is quite a bit of American effort underway, some of it from NATO and some of it from the embassy in Ukraine,” Lodal said Monday of US military training being given to Ukrainian officers. For US specialists to provide the additional training being considered, Lodal commented, “Americans would have to be in Ukraine to do this additional training.”
Former US ambassador to Ukraine Steven Pifer verified Lodal’s statements at the Atlantic Council saying that US personnel are already “training four battalions of Ukrainian National Guard.” Pifer, who is also an author of the report, stated that the training is taking place in Ukraine’s far west, near the border with Poland “well away from the conflict zone.”
Asked whether additional US training would take place in Ukraine or if officers would be brought to the United States, Lodal acknowledged he was uncertain “whether it would be possible to bring some Ukrainian officers or officials to the United States.”
Since last year, the United States has provided Ukraine with radar systems and has put military advisors and special forces on the ground in Ukraine, according to statement this past summer by US European Command.
The White House announced Monday it is still assessing its policies regarding providing lethal and other military assistance to the government in Ukraine.