19:32 GMT16 February 2020
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    White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said that providing Kiev with lethal weapons will only bring greater bloodshed and could escalate tensions in Eastern Ukraine.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) Providing Kiev with lethal weapons will only bring greater bloodshed and could escalate tensions in Eastern Ukraine, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said in a press briefing on Wednesday.

    “There a couple of consequences that we have talked about of providing additional lethal military assistance to the Ukrainian military. The first is, it is likely, almost by definition, to lead to greater bloodshed,” Earnest stated.

    Earnest explained that the United States will not be able to provide enough military support to the Ukrainians to overwhelm Russia’s military.

    “If the capability of the Ukrainian military substantially escalates, that could prompt an escalated response,” Earnest added.

    Earlier on Wednesday, US President Barack Obama approved $75 million in additional non-lethal equipment to Ukraine, which includes unmanned aerial vehicles, widely known as drones, counter-mortar radars, secure communications equipment, night vision devices, and military ambulances.

    However, a heated debate on whether to deliver lethal assistance to Kiev is currently taking place in the United States.

    Last Wednesday, a group of US bi-partisan lawmakers sent a letter to Obama urging him to provide Ukraine with lethal weapons. The lawmakers accused Obama of not using his full authority outlined in the Ukraine Freedom Support Act that was signed by the President in December.



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