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    Ukrainian servicemen take part in a welcome ceremony for first plane from United State with non-lethal aid including ten Humvee vehicles to Ukraine at Borispol airport near Kiev, March 25, 2015.

    US Decision on Lethal Weapons for Kiev Undermines Minsk Accords - Lawmaker

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    On Thursday, the US Congress passed the $612 billion National Defense Authorization Act to fund the US armed forces. According to the document, the Pentagon in coordination with the US State Department can spend up to $300 million on training, military equipment and logistics support for the Ukrainian military.

    The US Senate’s decision on providing funds for supplying Ukraine with lethal weapons undermines the principles of the Minsk agreements, Russian Lawmaker Leonid Slutsky told journalists Friday.

    On Thursday, the US Congress passed by a veto-proof majority the $612 billion National Defense Authorization Act to fund the US armed forces through 2016. Particularly, the document presumes some $300 million in lethal military assistance to Ukraine. Now the act is due to be approved by President Barack Obama.

    "The decision of the US Senate undermines the fundamental principles of the Minsk accords," the lawmaker said.

    The budget amendment was initiated by Republican Senator Rob Portman. It approves supplying Kiev with lethal weapons, including light weapons and grenade launchers.

    According to the text of the document, the Pentagon in coordination with the US State Department can spend up to $300 million on training, military equipment and logistics support for the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

    Earlier, the White House warned it could veto the initiative and that it opposes sending lethal weapons to Ukraine. Many European countries have also stood against weapons export to Kiev.

    The "Normandy four" talks took place on February 12 amid a serious aggravation of the situation in Donbass. The leaders of four countries – Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany – adopted a package of proposals, including a ceasefire in Donbass, withdrawal of heavy weapons and the creation of a security zone.

    One of the main provisions of the Minsk agreements was the adoption of a constitutional reform and a permanent law on the special status of separate districts in the Donetsk and Lugansk Regions. The agreements prescribe that decentralization must be implemented in accordance with representatives of those territories. However, Kiev has repeatedly ignored the demand saying that it will not hold talks with breakaway regions.


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    military conflict, Minsk agreements, weapons, military aid, United States, Ukraine
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