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    DPR Deputy Commander Accuses US, NATO of Unofficially Supplying Arms to Kiev

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    Deputy Commander of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) Operational Command Eduard Basurin accused the US and NATO of illegally supplying the Ukrainian forces with arms.

    DONETSK (Sputnik) — On Monday, The Wall Street Journal reported citing US diplomats and military officials that the US state and defense departments had devised a plan to supply Ukraine with anti-tank missiles and other weaponry. According to the media outlet, the Pentagon and the State Department are seeking the approval of the White House on the issue.

    "Unofficial deliveries of arms and ammunition from the United States and NATO have been underway for a long time. One of the recent evidences are the fragmentation grenades for the Bulgarian-made RPG-7, which were used by the Ukrainian Armed Forces during the night of July 30-31 in the shelling of a district near the town of Yasynuvata from the positions in Avdiivka," Basurin told reporters.

    Basurin showed a photo of one of such unexploded grenades as an evidence and pointed out that Bulgaria was a NATO member state, adding that the possession of such ammunition by the Ukrainian Armed Forces was an evidence of illegal weapons deliveries.

    Commenting on possible US and NATO weapons supplies to Kiev, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that all the states, especially those engaged in settling the Ukrainian conflicts, should avoid actions leading to further escalations.

    In September 2016, the US House of Representatives approved legislation to allow the supply of lethal "defensive" weapons to Ukraine, but the law still needs to be approved by the US Senate and signed by the US President.

    Russian officials have repeatedly warned against arms deliveries to Ukraine, stressing that it would only escalate the situation in the eastern part of the country.

    Different European politicians, including former OSCE Chairman and German President-elect Frank-Walter Steinmeier, as well as NATO Military Committee Chairman Peter Pavel have also spoken against arms deliveries to Ukraine.

    The Ukrainian government has been conducting a military operation in the country's eastern regions since April 2014, after local residents refused to recognize the new government in Kiev. In February 2015, Kiev and the Donbass militias signed a ceasefire deal. Despite the agreement, both sides have been reporting violations of the ceasefire.

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    Tags:
    arms supplies, NATO, Eduard Basurin, Donetsk, United States, Ukraine
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