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    U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis (R) and Ukraine's Defence Minister Stepan Poltorak attend a welcoming ceremony in Kiev, Ukraine August 24, 2017

    Ukraine Expects to Receive Defense Arms From Foreign States

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    Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak stated that Kiev plans to buy defense weapons, including anti-tank missile systems, from foreign countries in the future.

    KIEV (Sputnik) — Ukraine expects to acquire defense weapons, including anti-tank missile systems, from foreign countries in the future, Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak said on Thursday.

    "The time will come, and we will able to provide the Ukrainian Army with modern arms by ourselves. But at this particular time, the support of the foreign partners is very important. We are talking about only defense weapons. These are, first of all, the air defense and anti-tank missile systems. We are ready to accept them, teach our personnel to effectively and properly use them," Poltorak said in an interview with the country's defense ministry newspaper.

    Ukraine, which has been mired in a military conflict in the southeastern region of Donbas for three years, has repeatedly asked to be supplied with lethal and non-lethal weapons from the European Union and the United States.

    Russia has repeatedly warned against plans to supply arms to Ukraine, since such a step would only lead to an escalation of the conflict in Donbass. Earlier in August, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that all the states, especially those engaged in settling the Ukrainian conflicts, should avoid actions leading to further escalations.

    Several European politicians also spoke against the supply of arms to Ukraine. For example, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier stated in 2015 that the supply of arms to Ukraine is a very risky and counterproductive way out of the crisis. In 2016, the chairman of the NATO military committee, Gen. Petr Pavel, said that he did not see the need for the supply of lethal weapons to Kiev, because it would only increase the suffering of people.

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    Ukrainian Defense Ministry, Stepan Poltorak, Ukraine
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