Russia Condemns US Move to Sell Weapons to Ukraine

Russia Condemns US Move to Sell Weapons to UkraineRussia Condemns US Move to Sell Weapons to Ukraine

Russian officials said the US decision to supply weapons to Ukraine was dangerous and will encourage Kiev to use force in eastern Ukraine.

The US state department said on Friday the United States will provide Ukraine with “enhanced defensive capabilities” as the country battles Russian-backed separatists in the east, Al Jazeera reported.

RIA News Agency quoted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin as saying on Saturday that supplies of any weapons would encourage those who support the conflict in eastern Ukraine to use the “force scenario”.

Franz Klintsevich, a member of the upper house of the Russian parliament’s security committee, said Ukraine would consider arms deliveries as support of its actions, Interfax news agency reported.

“Americans, in fact, directly push Ukrainian forces to war,” Klintsevich said.

The war in eastern Ukraine between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian government forces has killed more than 10,000 people in three years.

Kiev accuses Moscow of sending troops and heavy weapons to the region, which Russia denies.

The US move deepens American involvement in the conflict and potentially further strains US relations with Russia.

According to sources quoted by The Associated Press, the new weapons include American-made Javelin anti-tank missiles that Ukraine has long sought to boost its defenses against the rebels, who have rolled through eastern Ukraine in tanks since 2014.

Previously the US provided Ukraine with support equipment and training, and has let private companies sell small arms.

In a statement late Friday, US State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the “enhanced defensive capabilities” would help Ukraine build its military long-term, defend its sovereignty, and “deter further aggression”.

The Russian foreign ministry said the US decision undermines Minsk agreements, TASS state news agency reported on Saturday.

Minsk agreements intended to end the fighting in Ukraine were signed by Ukraine, Russia, Germany, and France in the Belarusian capital in early 2015.


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