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US State Department Opposes Arming Ukraine to Draw Russia Away From Syria

© AP Photo / Pablo Martinez MonsivaisAssistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland, right, accompanied Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Anne Patterson, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015, before the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Syria.
Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland, right, accompanied Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Anne Patterson, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015, before the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Syria. - Sputnik International
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The US Department of State would not support a US lawmaker’s proposal to arm Ukraine in order to draw Russia away from Syria.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US Department of State would not support a US lawmaker’s proposal to arm Ukraine in order to draw Russia away from military action in Syria, US Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland said on Tuesday.

"I am confident that we would not be suggesting here [in] Ukraine… a war to involve the Russians further into the conflict there [in Syria], because that would not be good for the Ukraine or the stability" of the peace process, Nuland told the US House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Nuland’s comments came in response to a proposal by Congressman Mo Brooks to adopt a "diversion strategy" to draw Russia away from its anti-Islamic State campaign in Syria by providing lethal weapons to Ukraine.

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Nuland opposed the strategy, noting that under the Minsk peace process "we have had a ceasefire in Ukraine that has largely been holding… since September."

The Minsk peace agreement was signed in February between the Kiev government, the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lughansk, France, Germany and Russia.

The US Congress has repeatedly attempted to pressure the Obama administration to provide lethal weapons to Ukraine, but the administration has rejected sending lethal armaments.

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