Rep. Will Hurd Questions Ambassador Taylor on Timeline of Release of Ukrainian Aid

REP. WILL HURD: Thank you, Chairman. Gentlemen, I appreciate y’all’s decade of service as the fabled Foreign Service Officer and Ambassador Ryan Crocker says, “Because we have pumps and wingtips on the ground,” meaning diplomats, “that prevents us from having the need to have boots on the ground,” the military. Y’all are an important role in our national security. I thank you and your colleagues. Mr. Taylor, my first questions are to you, and these are questions that are on years prior to your time in the Ukraine, but I am pretty sure that you can answer them. Did Ukrainians get aid in FY17?

AMB. BILL TAYLOR: Did they get any aid in FY17? Yes, sir. They did get assistance.

REP. HURD: And they got security assistance as well?

AMB. TAYLOR: They did.

REP. HURD: And if I said that number was circa., you know in military assistance, around 270 million, would that probably be accurate? Would that be about right?

AMB. TAYLOR: Close.

REP. HURD: Did they get aid in FY18?

AMB. TAYLOR: Yes, sir.

REP. HURD: Including security assistance?

AMB. TAYLOR: Including security assistance. 

REP. HURD: We’ve already talked about the Javelins, the anti-tank missiles that they were not able to purchase under previous administrations. Have they gotten security assistance in FY19?

AMB. TAYLOR: Yes, sir.

REP. HURD: Prior to the 400 million or so that we’re discussing or have been discussing a lot here today?

AMB. TAYLOR: They probably got some previous year, some probably FY18 assistance. George, you may know.

MR. GEORGE KENT:It takes a while once money is obligated to actually reach the country. There were two island-class ships that just arrived in the Port of Odessa and that was with prior year money, so there’s about a lag of a year.

REP. HURD: My point is that we have been supporting the Ukrainians under this Administration in order to help them kick out the Russians who invaded their country.

AMB. TAYLOR: Yes, sir.

MR. KENT: 100%.

REP. HURD: Ambassador Taylor, you are testifying that Ukrainian officials did not become aware of potential U.S. assistance being withheld until August 29th, is that accurate?

AMB. TAYLOR: That’s my understanding, Mr. Hurd.

REP. HURD: Would you find it surprising if a Ukrainian official knew about that sooner and did not contact you?

AMB. TAYLOR: I can answer that it was only after August 29th when the political argument that I got calls from several of the Ukrainian officials.

REP. HURD: Good, copy. Mr. Kent, had you had any Ukrainian official contacting you concerned about– When was the first time a Ukrainian official contacted you concerned about potential withholding of U.S. aid?

MR. KENT: It was after the article in Politico came out in that first intense week of September.

REP. HURD: Got you, so after that August 29th conversation.