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    Ukrainian servicemen stand near armored vehicles during a ceremony with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to mark the delivery of more than 100 pieces of military equipment to the Ukrainian armed forces, near Zhitomir, Ukraine, Jan. 5, 2015

    Ukraine’s Interior Ministry Says Kiev Could Benefit From Lethal Aid From US

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    Situation in Ukraine After Ceasefire Agreement (450)
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    Advisor to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Zorian Shkiryak expressed his hope that the new US Secretary of Defense will be persistent in his push for lethal US aid to Ukraine on his Facebook page.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Advisor to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Zorian Shkiryak says Kiev hopes the new US Secretary of Defense will be persistent in his push for lethal US aid to Ukraine.

    "The new US defense secretary Ashton Carter is a supporter of the idea of providing Ukraine with high-precision lethal defense weapons! We invest high hopes in the new Pentagon leader. 'Javelin' and 'Stinger' [missiles] would be very useful in the context of the latest events in Donbas!" Shkiryak wrote on his Facebook page.

    Carter was nominated by US President Barack Obama in December 2014 to replace Chuck Hagel as the US Secretary of Defense. His nomination was confirmed by the US Senate on Thursday.

    In his February speech to the US Senate Armed Services Committee, Carter implied that he leans in the direction of providing Kiev with lethal arms amid the ongoing conflict between Ukraine's armed forces and independence supporters in the southeast of the country (Donbas).

    Last week, a group of US senators called on Obama to provide lethal assistance to Ukraine, where a military operation was launched by Kiev last spring in response to Donbas residents' refusal to recognize the new coup-installed government.

    In September, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko asked Congress for lethal aid, however, his request was not granted although the United States has been providing Ukraine with non-lethal assistance.

    Meanwhile, a number of European countries, including Germany, have rejected lethal aid to Ukraine saying that an influx of weapons into the conflict-torn country would not help solve the ongoing crisis, which has claimed the lives of at least 5,486 people, according to the latest UN estimates.

    France, Italy, Spain and Finland have all rejected providing Ukraine with lethal assistance. Russia has warned that the proposed US arms deliveries to Kiev could lead to a sharp increase in violence in Donbas, where fighting intensified at the start of 2015.

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    Situation in Ukraine After Ceasefire Agreement (450)

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    lethal aid, Pentagon, Ashton Carter, Zorian Shkiryak, Ukraine, United States
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