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US Arms Supplies to Ukraine Would Harm Peaceful Settlement: Moscow

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Potential US deliveries of lethal weaponry to Kiev would undermine agreements on the peaceful resolution of the current crisis in eastern Ukraine, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

Updated 6:54 p.m. Moscow Time

MOSCOW, October 9 (RIA Novosti) - Potential US deliveries of lethal weaponry to Kiev would undermine agreements on the peaceful resolution of the current crisis in eastern Ukraine, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

"All agreements that have been recently reached - those in Minsk on September 5 and 19 - clearly stipulate the necessity of a ceasefire, withdrawal of heavy weaponry and concrete steps in disarmament, rather than boosting up the strength of Kiev-led forces," spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said at a news briefing in Moscow.

"This [US arms supplies] is not something that is needed to ensure political settlement in Ukraine," the diplomat said.

Ukraine has been engulfed in violent internal conflict since mid-April, when Kiev began a military operation against independence supporters in the southeastern regions of the country. According to UN, more than 3,600 people have been killed since the start of the offensive.

Late in September, during his visit to Washington, Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko requested lethal military assistance, which the White House initially declined.

However, on Wednesday the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (ISA), Derek Chollet said the United States is designing a work program that may eventually lead to providing lethal assistance to the Ukrainian government.

The US aid to Ukraine this year included counter-mortar radar detection equipment, engineering equipment, patrol vehicles, personnel transport, maritime craft, and surveillance equipment, among other supplies, with no lethal weaponry, according to the White House.

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