U.S. Department of State considers providing Ukraine with new weapons


U.S. Department of State considers providing Ukraine with new weapons

After the Ukrainian army lost some areas in the Donbas, apparently, U.S. Department of State will change its policy regarding support to Ukraine, reports with reference to The New York Times. According to the publication, now many U.S. officials tend to believe that the United States should provide Ukraine with defensive armament and military equipment.

The journalists write that the idea of providing Ukraine with military assistance is supported in particular by NATO's military commander Philip Breedlove, as well as U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (though soon he will leave the post, adds the journalist at NYT). John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State, who will visit Ukraine on Thursday, also intends to discuss providing lethal assistance with the Ukrainian authorities.

According to U.S. officials, in recent months the proposal to provide Ukraine with real military assistance was met with serious resistance on the part of Susan Rice, President Obama"s National Security Advisor. But officials say Rice is "prepared to reconsider the issue."

Fearing that the provision of defensive weapons to Ukraine will make Mr. Putin "raise the stakes", the U.S. government supplied Ukraine only with "non-lethal items", including body armor, night vision goggles, first aid kits and engineering equipment, the author writes. Now, it became apparent that Washington failed "to dissuade Russia from sending heavy weapons and military personnel to eastern Ukraine" only by means of sanctions. Therefore, the Obama administration may begin to consider the issue of providing Ukraine with real military assistance again.

In order to draw attention to this issue, eight former U.S. officials made an independent report for the President, which will be issued on February 2. According to The New York Times, the authors of this message "urge the United States to send $3 billion in defensive arms and equipment to Ukraine, including anti-armor missiles, reconnaissance drones, armored Humvees and radars that can determine the location of enemy rocket and artillery fire."

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