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US Should Send Lethal Weapons to Kiev if Donbass Remains Destabilized

© REUTERS / Maksim Levin Ukrainian servicemen train with weapons
Ukrainian servicemen train with weapons - Sputnik International
The United States should provide lethal defensive weapons to Ukraine if the situation in the eastern part of the country continues to be unsettled, former NATO Secretary-General and current adviser to the Ukrainian president, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, told Sputnik.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Earlier in September, the US House of Representatives approved the draft law On Support of Stability and Democracy in Ukraine, which stipulates enhancing sanctions against Russia and allowing supplies of lethal defensive weapons to Ukraine.

"If Russia continues to destabilize eastern Ukraine, time has come to consider the delivery of lethal defensive weapons to Ukraine, so that Ukraine would be better able to defend itself," Rasmussen stated on Thursday.

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Following the draft approval by the US House of Representatives, Russia expressed concern over the possible US supplies of lethal aid to Ukraine, saying it would go against Washington’s obligations and conflict settlement in the Donbass region under the Minsk deal.

US military assistance to Kiev is currently limited to supplying uniforms and equipment, including counter-battery radars, drones and means of secure communication.

In August, Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States Valeriy Chaly proposed producing weapons in cooperation with the United States on Ukrainian soil.

The Ukrainian government has been conducting a military operation in the country's eastern regions since April 2014. In February 2015, Kiev and the southeastern militia signed a deal in the Belarusian city of Minsk on Ukrainian reconciliation. The deal includes a ceasefire and means to monitor and verify it, and the withdrawal of weapons from the line of contact.

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