Russian Federation warns vs USA decision to arm Ukraine

Russian Federation warns vs USA decision to arm Ukraine

The U.S. has previously provided Ukraine with support equipment and training, and earlier this week President Trump announced it would let U.S. weapons makers sell small arms to the former Soviet state.

Russian officials are slamming the Trump administration's plan to provide anti-tank missiles and other heavy arms to Ukraine, saying the long-awaited move to bolster the country's defenses "crossed a line" and is one they "cannot remain indifferent to".

Kiev is battling Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country.

Franz Klintsevich, a member of the upper house of the Russian parliament's security committee, said Kiev would consider arms supplies as support of its actions in continuing to fight. The U.S. and Ukraine want peacekeepers deployed throughout the separatist-controlled regions stretching to the Ukraine-Russia border.

Russia slams US supplying weapons to Ukraine as encouraging use of 'force'

The US move deepens American involvement in the conflict and potentially further strains Washington's relations with Moscow.

"With lethal weapons supplies, the US gives a clear signal to Kiev that it will support a military option", Alexei Pushkov, the head of the upper house's information committee, said on Twitter.

The U.S. State Department said in a statement Friday that the decision to provide Ukraine with "enhanced defensive capabilities" is in keeping with the "effort to help Ukraine build its long-term defense capacity, to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity".

In thanking the USA for its support, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko addressed the concerns over how the weapons would be used. "The American weapons in the hands of Ukrainian soldiers are not for offensive purposes, but to respond in a resolute way to the aggressor.... and for effective self-defense", said Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Facebook. "It is also a trans-Atlantic vaccination against the Russian virus of aggression". John McCain, Arizona Republican, said Saturday.

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Congress has a chance to stop proposed foreign military sales, but is unlikely to do so in this case.

Ukraine has criticized Moscow's decision, saying it could fuel hostilities.

Trump had been considering the plan for some time after the State Department and the Pentagon signed off earlier this year.

In recent days, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has warned that violence is up about 60 percent this year.

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"It stands as the single most hard obstacle to us renormalizing the relationship with Russian Federation, which we badly would like to do", Tillerson said.

The United States, under Obama, also imposed sanctions on Russian Federation for its invasion and annexation of Crimea.

Ukraine is to receive more lethal American-made weapons to help it fight Russian-backed separatists.

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