21 September 2017

US weapons for Ukraine

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The Wall Street Journal has reported that the Pentagon and the US State Department have come up with a plan to supply Ukraine with deadly weapons and that this plan is now awaiting White House approval. Ukrainian political scientist Ivan Mezyuho warned that Kiev could use such weapons far beyond the war-torn Donbass region. reports citing WSJ, on Monday the US defense and diplomatic establishment had devised a plan to supply lethal arms to Ukraine. The weapons, characterized as 'defensive', may include Javelin man-portable anti-tank missiles, anti-aircraft weapons, and other advanced arms. According to the newspaper, US officials want to make the weapons delivery contingent on them being deployed away from the frontline in the war-torn Donbass region in eastern Ukraine.

The US Joint Chiefs of Staff and Defense Secretary James Mattis support the plan, and it now awaits by President Trump, who has yet to be briefed on its details. Officials told WSJ that a final decision from the president could take as much as several months to secure.

The plan is supported by Kurt Volker, the recently appointed US special representative to Ukraine, who said last week that the conflict in eastern Ukraine was a "hot war," and that Washington should deliver lethal weapons to Kiev to "stop Russia."

Fighting between the Ukrainian army and militia in the Donbass intensified last month, with several dozen troops killed and dozens more wounded in July. Both sides have issued recriminations against the other for the escalation, with Donbass officials also accusing Kiev of indiscriminately targeting civilian areas in shelling by artillery.

Ukraine has faced a civil war in the Donbass region since April 2014, when the government sent the army to try to crush an uprising in the country's southeast by locals who refused to recognize the coup-installed government in Kiev. In February 2015, Kiev and Donbass militias signed a ceasefire deal. Since then, both sides have accused one another of violating the deal, and Moscow has accused Kiev of deliberately stalling the implementation of its provisions to establish a lasting peace in the region.

Moscow has repeatedly warned against the delivery of US weapons to Ukraine, stressing that doing so would only escalate the deadly conflict.

2017.08.01 / 16:28
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