The move's timing, however, is what is sure to have a greater symbolic impact as it came the same day the White House rejected Russian President Putin's proposed referendum for the contested separatist Donbas region in Eastern Ukraine. A spokesman for the White House National Security Council announced at the end of a week of intense media speculation as to the contents of Trump and Putin's closed door summit in Helsinki on Monday, "The administration is not considering supporting a referendum in the eastern Ukraine."
Even as Trump personally tweeted the summit was "a great success" and has expressed hope for warmer relations between the two nuclear armed powers, the Pentagon statement has thrown cold water on such optimism as it will surely be seen by Russia as an escalatory shot across the bow.
Crucially, the Pentagon announcement further contains this not so insignificant detail:
The security cooperation builds on Ukraine's recent adoption of the Law on National Security. This law, which provides a legislative framework for aligning Ukraine's national security architecture with Euro-Atlantic principles, constitutes a major step toward Ukraine's goal of achieving NATO interoperability. The implementation of these reforms will bolster Ukraine's ability to defend its territorial integrity in support of a secure and democratic Ukraine.