August 29, 2019 / 2:27 PM / 3 months ago

Trump may block $250 million in aid to Ukraine: officials

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House is reviewing whether $250 million in military assistance should be sent to Ukraine in keeping with President Donald Trump’s view that U.S. foreign aid must be justified, two senior administration officials said on Thursday.

The money is intended for use by Ukraine in its struggle with pro-Russian separatists backed by Moscow.

“The president has made no secret when it comes to foreign assistance that U.S. interests abroad should be prioritized and other foreign countries should also be paying their fair share,” said one of the officials, who shared details of the plan on condition of anonymity.

The officials said chances are the money will be allocated as usual but that the determination will not be made until a policy review is completed and Trump makes a final decision. The federal fiscal year ends on Sept. 30.

“Agencies are under no restrictions from preparing to obligate those funds, and agencies still have adequate time to obligate those funds prior to the end of the fiscal year,” the official said.

Moscow annexed Ukraine’s Crimea region in 2014.

Reporting by Steve Holland, Lisa Lambert and David Alexander; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Howard Goller and Jonathan Oatis

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