13:31 GMT30 October 2020
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    Russia is strongly against supplies of any kinds of weapons to Ukraine, as the gap between lethal and defensive weapons is sometimes indistinct, First Deputy Chairman of the Russian Federation Council Committee on Defense and Security Frants Klintsevich, told Sputnik.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Sunday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that Kiev and Washington do not currently discuss the supplies of lethal weapons, however, Ukraine expects that the United States will provide Kiev with defensive weapons and that the relevant decision will be taken this year.

    "As a military man I say that today the term 'defensive weapons' is quite relative… The Russian position is clearly determined — we strongly oppose weapons supplies to the country mired in civil war," Klintsevich said.

    According to Klintsevich, Poroshenko "is sly" by asking Washington to provide defensive weapons and not lethal ones.

    "You cannot discount the so-called psychological factor. These supplies will be perceived by Kiev as a confirmation of validity of its course in Donbas, and this will further destabilize the situation," the official said.

    Earlier in June, Poroshenko said that he negotiated defensive weapons with US President Donald Trump during his recent visit to Washington.

    In early May, the US Senate approved the draft federal budget until September 30, 2017, in which the country continues to provide financial assistance to Ukraine in the amount of at least $410 million, including military support. It is noted that the Pentagon may spend $150 million on "providing assistance, including (military) training, equipment, lethal weapons for defense purposes, logistics assistance," as well as intelligence community assistance for the military and national security forces of Ukraine.

    Russia has repeatedly warned against plans to supply arms to Ukraine, since this step will only lead to an escalation of the conflict in the Donbas. As the Russian president's spokesman Dmitry Peskov repeatedly stated, the supply of arms to Ukraine from the outside will not contribute to the settlement of the crisis in the Donbas and the implementation of the Minsk accords.

    The majority of European politicians spoke against the supply of arms to Ukraine. For example, former Foreign Minister of Germany and now German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier previously stated that the supply of arms to Ukraine is a very risky and counterproductive way out of the crisis. The chairman of the NATO military committee Gen. Peter Pavel said that he did not see the need for the supply of lethal weapons to Kiev, because it "will only increase the suffering" of people.


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