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The United States has pledged $8m to support a Ukrainian cybersecurity project. 

The generous commitment was announced by the State Department on Tuesday as part of a “cyber-dialogue” that took place between the two countries in Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv. 

A new cybersecurity project sponsored by USAID (the US Agency for International Development) will be the beneficiary of the promised injection of American dollars. Over the next four years, it is anticipated that the project will raise a total of $38m, all of which will be spent on improving Ukraine’s cybersecurity. 

Among other things, the money will be used to expand and develop the country’s cyber-workforce and to support legal and regulatory reform. 

The $8m pledge comes just three years after the US gave Ukraine $10m of cybersecurity assistance. America’s first cash injection was agreed upon in 2017 as part of the first ever cyber-dialogue held between the two countries. 

A review of the cybersecurity projects in operation between Ukraine and the US followed in 2018.

According to the State Department, the third cyber-dialogue held on March 3 and its accompanying financial pledge served to reaffirm “our shared commitment to ensure an open, interoperable, reliable, and secure cyberspace in which all states behave responsibly.”

Issues discussed at the meeting included how to respond to a serious cyber-incident, how to strengthen critical infrastructure against cyber-attackers, and how to secure the security of the 5G network.

On the agenda also were cyber-capacity building and international cyber-policy issues, including engagements in multilateral fora and policies around public attribution.  

Attending the dialogue were America’s acting deputy chief of mission at the US embassy in Kyiv, Joseph Pennington, various officials from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and representatives from the US Defense, Energy, Homeland Security, and Treasury departments.

Ruslan Nimchynskyi, Ministry of Foreign Affairs director general for international security, led Ukraine’s interagency delegation.

America’s pledge to offer further financial support to Ukraine follows a request by Ukrainian authorities for support from the United States to investigate a cyber-attack. Ukraine asked for assistance from the FBI to examine an attack on Ukrainian gas company Burisma, which it believes was engineered by Russian military hackers.

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