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    Members of the Ukrainian armed forces gather on armoured vehicles on the roadside near the village of Vidrodzhennya outside Artemivsk, Donetsk region, Ukraine, June 9, 2015.

    Senate Decision on Arms Supplies to Ukraine Scuppers Minsk Deal – Official

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    After Minsk: Will Peace Come to Ukraine? (1049)
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    The decision of the US Senate on the delivery of weapons to Ukraine undermines the Minsk accords, the chairman of the Russian parliamentary committee on the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) told reporters on Friday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Thursday, the US Senate passed, by 71 votes to 25, the $612 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to fund the US armed forces through 2016. The legislation allocates about $200 million in lethal military assistance to Ukraine.

    To enter into force, the NDAA must have the approval by US President Barack Obama who, repeatedly stating his reluctance to the act, has threatened a veto.

    "The decision of the US Senate undermines the very essence of the Minsk agreements," Leonid Slutsky said.

    After Kiev began a military operation to suppress independence supporters in Donbass in April 2014, Ukrainian authorities repeatedly asked Western states for lethal aid.

    Washington has provided non-lethal military assistance to Ukraine, but has stopped short of extending lethal aid over concern it will escalate the conflict.

    US legislators continue to pressure Obama to approve lethal aid to Kiev. Washington and other Western countries state that Russia is involved in the Ukrainian conflict, providing weapons and logistical support to the independence fighters. Moscow has repeatedly denied the allegations.

    The Minsk agreements are a set of measures elaborated by the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany in mid-February to facilitate the process of Ukrainian reconciliation.

    The 13-point deal stipulates a ceasefire, the withdrawal of heavy weaponry from the line of contact in Ukraine’s southeast, an all-for-all prisoner swap and amendments to the Ukrainian constitution to decentralize powers.

    Topic:
    After Minsk: Will Peace Come to Ukraine? (1049)

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    Tags:
    Minsk agreements, arms supplies, National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Ukrainian crisis, US Senate, Leonid Slutsky, United States, Ukraine
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