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    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko sticks an Ukrainian flag and the state emblem on an armoured vehicle at Kiev airport on March 25, 2015 during a welcoming ceremony of the first US plane delivery of non-lethal aid, including 10 Humvee vehicles

    US New Stage of Arms to Kiev Seeks to Balance Conflict, Endangers Minsk Accords

    © AFP 2019 / SERGEI SUPINSKY
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    US shipments of antitank missiles and other weaponry to Ukraine may represent a new phase of Washington’s strategy to bring balance to the battlefield even if it undermines the Minsk agreements, analysts told Sputnik.

    US Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker
    © AFP 2019 / AUDE VANLATHEM / BELGA
    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that the Pentagon and the US State Department have come up with a plan to supply Ukraine with deadly weapons, a plan now awaiting White House approval.

    The deliveries to Ukraine forces may include Javelin man-portable anti-tank missiles, anti-aircraft weapons, and other advanced arms, according to the report.

    NEW STAGE SEEKS ‘BALANCE’

    Russia would be certain to respond to US arms shipments to Ukraine which might be a bid to bring balance to the conflict, former high-ranking Israeli intelligence official Yakov Kedmi told Sputnik on Tuesday.

    "If it in fact happens, it would mean only one thing: That the US has moved onto a new stage of arms delivery to Ukraine. Russia would have to look for an adequate response," Kedmi said.

    US policymakers appeared to believe that sending antitank missiles could give the Ukrainian army and its allies the ability to counter heavy armor being used by the secessionist provinces of Donetsk and Lugansk, Kedmi explained.

    "It is known that Donbass forces have two main advantages: in artillery, particularly its quality, and tank forces — the amount of tank units and their training," he said. "This decision could have been made to balance out this situation with antitank missiles, and it could make sense from military standpoint, though it wouldn't substantially change power dynamics."

    Kedmi also criticized the decision as a very serious political mistake because of the consequences it might produce.

    "From a political standpoint, the decision is profoundly wrong, because the US may face a strong reaction in the future," he warned.

    The plans had previously been developed in the US government but the decision whether to send them to President Petro Poroshenko’s regime in Kiev would be made by US President Donald Trump, Kedmi noted.

    UNDERMINING MINSK

    University of Illinois Professor of International Law Francis Boyle told Sputnik that the consequences of sending such weapons to Ukraine would be highly negative.

    "Lethal weapons are lethal weapons whether you call them offensive or defensive. In the context of Ukraine the distinction is meaningless," he said.

    Boyle also warned that such a decision could derail moves by Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin to deescalate the Ukraine crisis.

    "Obviously [US policymakers] understand that the provision of these lethal weapons could very well sabotage the new Trump-Putin Initiative to resolve the Ukrainian Civil War on the basis Minsk Agreements, which is the only realistic way to resolve it," he noted.

    The Minsk Agreements remained the essential and irreplaceable legal and diplomatic framework for restoring peace to Ukraine since the existing state had been toppled in a US-backed coup against legal incumbent President Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014, Boyle pointed out.

    "Technically Ukraine disintegrated as a state as a direct result of the CIA-sponsored coup against the democratically elected Yanukovych government. Minsk is the only road map to put the Ukrainian Humpty-Dumpty back together again," he explained

    According to the newspaper, US officials want to make the weapons delivery continent on them being deployed away from the front line in the war-torn Donbass region in eastern Ukraine.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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    Minsk protocol, Pentagon, Donbass, Ukraine, United States
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