US State Department Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker told Deutsche Welle in an interview that Washington is concerned by the situation developing in the Sea of Azov, and is prepared to continue supplying Ukraine with weapons in connection with this.
According to Volker, Russia has drastically increased its military ship presence in the region, and is inspecting the ships passing by “in an aggressive manner”.
“This is another cause for concern. But we have the overall feeling that we are ready to continue assisting Ukraine in order to reinforce its defensive capabilities,” he remarked.
Volker emphasized that the anti-sniper and anti-tank missile systems which have already been sent to Ukraine will be useful to the republic.
US Congress has approved a new package of financial measures to support Ukraine’s defense, Volker notes.
Serhiy Popko, Ground Forces Commander of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, recently announced that the General Staff had decided to reinforce its troops in the Azov region due to Russian aggression.
At the start of September, Kurt Volker announced that the US was prepared to increase its arms shipments to Ukraine in order to strengthen the country’s Navy and anti-air defense. Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council later confirmed that it intends to reinforce its military presence in the Sea of Azov by creating a fleet of ships and boats under the Ukrainian Navy. As part of the defense budget for 2019, the coastal defense divisions bordering on the Sea of Azov will be equipped with precision missiles.