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US military equipment monitoring updates in Ukraine not to go into effect until late 2025: Watchdog

While it is unclear when some watchdog measures will go into effect, others will not be implemented until at least September 2025, the report states.

Published: January 14, 2024 11:14pm

The U.S. Defense Department Inspector General's Office deemed more than $1 billion worth of sensitive military equipment given to Ukraine as being "delinquent," but at least one major reform to monitor such equipment is not set to go into effect until fall 2025, officials said. 

While the defense department has improved monitoring of equipment since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, "it did not fully comply during the period covered by our review with the requirements" for defense equipment designated for "enhanced end-use monitoring," or EEUM, the watchdog said in an announcement Thursday about the report.

Items designated as EEUM are those with sensitive technology that is "particularly susceptible to diversion or misuse, or whose diversion or misuse could have significant consequences," per the inspector general. 

The inspector general monitored equipment given to Ukraine through June 2, 2023, and found that "serial number inventories for more than $1.005 billion (59 percent) of the total $1.699 billion of EEUM-designated defense articles were delinquent," per officials. 

The partially redacted 92-page report revealed that U.S. officials could not perform initial equipment inventories because the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv had closed until June 2022, and after that point, inventories could only be performed as conditions allowed due to the conflict. 

The Defense Department Inspector General recommended for Ukraine's Office of Defense Cooperation to "Develop and implement additional inventory procedures to provide better accountability of enhanced end‑use monitoring defense articles transferred to the Ukrainian Armed Forces." The response from the Ukraine-focused agency was redacted, but the watchdog said it considered the recommendation closed. 

Many of the other recommendations, however, were marked as being "resolved but open," simply because the update has not gone into effect.

For example, one recommendation was "to develop and implement a system" to track serial numbers of sensitive equipment given to Ukraine, and "Stakeholders agreed that this recommendation can be implemented by September 2025," the report states.

The watchdog also recommended for procedures to be implemented that would document approved third-party transfers, but that remains "resolved but open" because it has not been implemented. The report did not state when such measures would actually go into effect.

The White House warned last month that Ukraine aid is nearly depleted as President Joe Biden is asking Congress to approve $61 billion in additional assistance for the war-torn European country.

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