Russia: US decision to supply weapons to Ukraine is dangerous
“The decision of the US authorities to supply weapons to Ukraine is dangerous and will provoke Kyiv to use force in the conflict in eastern Ukraine,” said on Saturday the Deputy Head of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Grigory Karasin, RIA news agency reports.
The US Department of State stated on Friday that the United States will provide Ukraine with enhanced defensive capabilities" to help it "deter further aggression". The weapons will include anti-tank missiles.
“The supply of any weapons is encouraging those who support the further conflict in Ukraine and military scenario," - Karasin said.
Russia's First Deputy of the Federation Council on Defense and Security Committee the upper house of the Russian parliament, Franz Klintsevich said that “Kyiv will consider the supply of weapons as a support for its actions”, Interfax agency reports.
"Actually, the Americans are directly pushing Ukrainian forces to war," Klintsevich stated.
The Russian Foreign Ministry stated that the US decision is once again undermining agreements with Minsk, TASS said on Saturday.
The US State Department's Friday statement stressed that US aid “is completely defensive". "As we have always said, Ukraine is a sovereign country and has the right to defend itself," reads the statement. The document specifies that the decision is part of the United States' efforts to "help Ukraine defend its territory and deter further aggression".
The spokeswoman for the US State Department, Heather Nauert, stated that Washington "declared full support for the Minsk agreements" aimed at resolving the conflict in the south-east of Ukraine.
Associated Press reported, citing anonymous sources in the US administration that President Donald Trump has approved the sale of lethal weapons to Ukraine, including anti-tank missiles Javelin for around 47 million dollars.
All arms sales transactions will have to be approved by the US Congress. As the AP notes, the consent of both houses of Congress will be in this case almost certain, both Democrats and Republicans have long appealed to the White House for help to Ukraine in the fight against the separatists supported by Russia.
According to Western news agencies, the US state Department’s documents show that Ukraine has been buying small quantities of this type of weapon for several years, both before and after Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014.