Conflict in Ukraine Increasing US Resolve to Arm Kiev- Former US Ambassador

© AP Photo / Mykola Lazarenk, PoolUkraine's President Petro Poroshenko inspects a British Saxon military vehicle for its bullet proof capabilities at the National Guard Training Center in Novy Petrivtsy, Ukraine, Friday, Feb. 13, 2015
Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko inspects a British Saxon military vehicle for its bullet proof capabilities at the National Guard Training Center in Novy Petrivtsy, Ukraine, Friday, Feb. 13, 2015 - Sputnik International
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Former US ambassador to Ukraine John Herbst said that the ongoing conflict in Eastern Ukraine is increasing support in Congress to provide lethal defensive military aid to Kiev.

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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The fighting that continues to take place in Ukraine’s eastern provinces is increasing US Congress’ resolve to provide lethal defensive military aid to Ukraine, former US ambassador to Ukraine John Herbst told Sputnik on Thursday.

“There’s no question that the ongoing offensive in the east [of Ukraine] by the Russians is increasing support in Congress to make this happen and happen quickly,” Herbst said.

Herbst coauthored a report in early February calling for the US to authorize $3 billion for training, equipment, and lethal defensive military aid to Ukraine over the course of three years.

The funding request was introduced as legislation by the US House of Representatives on February 10.

“We’ve briefed many people about our report, including on Capitol Hill,” Herbst said.

Asked whether members of Congress were concerned about the consequences of US arms provisions, Herbst said the arguments against arming Ukraine are not that strong, and “the Congress, I would say, agrees with that.”

The report, coauthored with former NATO commanders and US President Barack Obama administration officials, calls on the United States to provide Ukraine with anti-armor missiles, counterbattery radars, unmanned aerial vehicles, armored personnel carriers, and any necessary training. The report’s authors also call on other NATO allies to provide Ukraine with military equipment.

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