McCain Calls on Trump to Provide Ukraine With Lethal Weapons

The United States should provide Kiev with defensive lethal assistance amid the spike of violence in eastern Ukraine, US Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain said in a letter to President Donald Trump released on Thursday.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — McCain has repeatedly called on Washington to provide Ukraine with lethal weapons.

"In light of the latest Russian attacks and the prospect of future aggression against Ukraine, I urge you to exercise the authority given to you by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 to provide defensive lethal assistance to Ukraine," McCain said in the letter.

The senator has also urged the US president to maintain and further expand sanctions on Russia.

Ukrainian tanks stand in the yard of an apartment block in Avdiivka, eastern Ukraine - Sputnik International
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"And based on Russia’s attempted interference in our elections, I urge you to expand current sanctions against Russia," McCain added.

The situation in southeastern Ukraine, namely in the industrial towns of Avdiivka and Yasynuvata, became aggravated this weekend when both towns were bombarded with shells, which resulted in heavy losses on both sides. The Ukrainian forces and Donbass militia are trading blames for the escalation of fighting.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday that Moscow had reliable data that the Ukrainian independent armed groups, supported by the Ukrainian Armed Forces' artillery, were behind the attack on Avdiivka.

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