The armed forces of Ukraine have inspired the world with their tremendous skill, professionalism, and profound courage defending their country from Russia’s brutal and unjustified invasion. The United States along with our Allies and partners have expedited security assistance to Ukraine at a historic pace to ensure Ukraine is able to defend its territory. The Ukrainian government has committed to appropriately safeguarding and accounting for transferred defense equipment. As in any conflict, we remain vigilant to the possibility that criminal and non-state actors may attempt to illicitly acquire weapons from sources in Ukraine, including members of the Russian military, during or following the conflict.
Today the Department of State announces The U.S. Plan to Counter Illicit Diversion of Certain Advanced Conventional Weapons in Eastern Europe, a comprehensive effort to further:
- Safeguard and account for arms and munitions in Ukraine and neighboring countries when they are transferred, stored, and deployed;
- Enhance regional border management and security, and
- Build capacity of security forces, law enforcement, and border control agencies in the region to deter, detect, and interdict illicit arms trafficking.
This Plan captures our commitment to responsible arms transfer practices, our enduring, ongoing, and effective security partnership with Ukraine and other partners, and decades of successful international cooperation to detect and interdict illicit weapons trafficking worldwide.
By starting this war, Russia bears responsibility for any resulting diversion. The most effective path towards reducing conflict and any risk of illicit diversion of arms would be for Russia to end the war that it started and withdraw its forces from all of Ukraine’s sovereign territory. The United States will continue to coordinate with an unsurpassed group of Allies and partners. Together, we will build on decades of international cooperation in security assistance, conventional weapons management, export control, border security, technology security, and law enforcement capacity building. By doing so, we will strengthen Ukraine’s hand on the battlefield and, when the time is right, at the negotiating table.